Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Bohemian PilsnerHarpoon Bohemian Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

124 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.72%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Duhast500 on 04-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner follows the age-old tradition of extended lagering to help produce a smooth yet complex beer. The blend of European malts is balanced with Tettnang and Saaz hops to create a slightly malty beer with a crisp finish.

48 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 43
Photo of 999biotch
1.86/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Uh, is it me or do most U.S. "craft" breweries completely miss the mark when churning out Czech or German inspired pilsners? I keep giving them chances to outshine or least compete w/ their European counterparts, but the end result is usually the same. Now that ales and their brethren have reserved a certain revered status as the pinnacle of brewing science, (something that most of the craft breweries are laughing all the way to the bank b/c of), lagers are somehow recently relegated for lesser palates as "beginner beer." I think those Rhineland breweries are still scratching their head on how it came to be. Anyway.... on with the beer.

German pils are one of my favorites and so I consider myself a decent judge at identifying what to look for. The smell is the first indicator that this is really not a representation of a Czech pilsner.. I haven't had that many different Czech pilsners outside of the more commonly available ones, but I have never detected the smell of Cascade hops, grapefruit laden,citrusy, somewhat floral. One look at the bottle confirmed Tettnanger hops, actually a.k.a. fuggles since it was probably grown in the States. Since the same varieties grown on U.S. soil do not resemble their European counterparts as far as the makeup of their compounds; the resulting overall flavor is a far cry from where it should be. The hop profile totally missed the mark, more suited for an average APA or IPA, definitely West coast flavor here, which I find to be a ubiquitous fault in U. S. "craft" beer. The taste confirmed this. Little malt body presence, not the grassy hay like profile of some pilsners that transport one to the fields and retain the organic simplicity and taste of the barley and hops. Instead, I get something that tastes like typical processed bagged malts and hops. Hops are very forward in their overbearing grapefruit citrusy flavor, overwhelming the thin malts. The lack of balance b/tw hops and malt seems to allude most American brewers. Simplicity is key and less is more when it comes to pilsners. They should have you searching- more elusive in flavor composition, not plowing you down with a cascade hop presence that you get when ingesting too much grapefruit zest. I won't go on about the water not being soft enough to be Czech like. In the end you are getting a so-so APA or maybe a starter IPA here. This isn't the real deal. Try a real Czech beer instead of this impostor.

Photo of Mojo
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pale straw with a small white head. Lots of elaborate lacing is left on the side of the glass. The nose is mainly honeysuckle and flower, quite subtle and quite pleasant. Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery. Taste is not bad at all. I expected weak, but after the initial mild metallic taste a bold hop presence asserts itself. Certainly not the best beer ever made, but very drinkable.

Photo of mnrider
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12. oz brown bottle. Freshness date on bottle.

A: Pours clear yellow with a nice large forming fluffy head. Leaves excellent
lacing and Plenty of carbonation can be seen shooting to the top.

S: Light floral hops and a hint of malts. An overall clean aroma.

T/M: Crisp and slightly bitter. Spicy, floral hops go nice with a touch of chewy
malts. The finish is clean with only a hint of dry hops.

D: A really nice beer and an above average representation of a Pilnser.
Great drinkability with tasty hops. Could benefit from a stronger malt
presence.

Cheers!!

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a straw color. A bright white head sits on top. It's well carbonated but a bit hazy.

Aroma has a strong malt bill and a lightly spiced hop bouquet.

Taste is malty and only sutle hints of spicy saaz hops come through. It drinks clean and crisp and semi dry. Its refreshing to drink and pretty good.

Photo of Dools9
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint glass, Best Before 9/15/12, so a bit late on this one.

A: Yellowish gold color, finger of sudsy white head retains moderately.

S: I'm getting an herbal minty smell, some toasty bread crust, kind of a stale smell.

T: Bready malt, some grassy slightly bitter hops, a bit floral and some sweetness.

M: Medium, crisp, medium carbonation.

O: This bottle is a bit past its prime. Overall, not very good and not t something I would purchase again. Maybe if I find it fresh next year I'll give it another go.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass, the beer is a slightly hazed, pale, honey-gold coloring with a thin strip of white film around the edge of the surface. Aromas of toasted oats, lemongrass, and subtle, grassy hops. Flavors are sharp and hoppy, with a resiny and peppered hops backbone supporting a light, herbal spiced and slightly citrus sweet highlighting character. More dynamic than I was expecting. Sweet and bitter aftertaste, with a drying, clean, bitter finish. Tasty beer, and very interesting.

Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, never drank a featured pilsner by a craft beer brewer, but I assume its a good beer.

A: Pours a light straw color with a very thin head that leaves some lacing. Pours much like an adjunct lager.

S: Strong hop citrus up front with some lemon zest following in the initial flavor. Some strong grassy notes consisting of some clove throughout the smell, with an underlyning of sweet peppery spice.

T: I get that peppery spice and clove up front, followed by honey , lemon zest and citrus through the middle. The aftertaste of this beer has some honey and bready yeast type flavor.

M: Very earthy tasting beer with a lot of combining flavors from clove to cinnamon to yeast and honey. No carbonation, but very medium bodied beer.

O: A very good pilsner, I was expecting an adjunct lager type of character of this beer, but Harpoon gave it flavor, body and quality. Very well done Boston!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty nice. Smells alright. Flavor is "okay." Seems a bit too thick for the style, imo. Feels good though. For me personally, this is not as smooth as the style dictates. Nice hop tones and presence, but just not ironed out enough. Still a pretty good beer though.

Photo of divineaudio
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pokal glass.

a - pours a crystal clear, light golden shade and forms a finger thick, coarse, bright white head. after calming, i get a thin film and some nice, leggy lacing in my glass.

s - lightly toasted bread, fresh cut grass, faint citrus, faint spice.

t - bready malt with a pronounced hop spiciness. notes of citrus and pine in there as well. moderate bitterness comes in and lingers well into the finish. nicely balanced.

m - lighter in body but lots of carbonation to fizz up in the mouth. medium co2 profile.

o - i'm pleasantly surprised by this one, an easy drinking beer with plenty of flavor. seems to represent the style well and will be on my shopping list in the future.

Photo of Ryan011235
1.44/5  rDev -60%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into an Allagash flute on 7/3/12

Best by 07/15/12

Golden yellow color; a shade on the faded side. Fluffy two finger head drops rapidly, leaving a 1/4th inch layer. Mild lace.

The aroma is apple cider and cooked veggies. Hints of yeast and herbal grasses. Mostly apple cider, though. Tastes like dirt and herbs, moldy lemon peel, sweaty soccer field grass and griddle crusties wrapped in a chalky feel. Fairly thin body, but the carbonation seems appropriately lively.

Overall impression - I haven't sent one down the drain in a while; it's about time to break that streak.

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in plasticware (only thing available)

A: clear dark yellow; champagne-like in head and carbonation; not much lacing
S: fruity, sweet, malty
T: cloves, somewhat dry, bitter, peppery, complex, flavorful; strong hop presence (thank you!)

Very flavorful, interesting pilsner

Photo of BDIMike
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking pilsner. A clear golden color. A good amount of carbonation creates a thin white head that goes away very quickly.
Smell has almost nothing to it. A refreshing, crisp biscuit smell.
Taste is good. A very nice and crisp beer. A good amount of biscuit taste with a refreshing floral hop taste.
Mouthfeel is okay. Not too thick, but a very nice refreshing crispness that is good for a summer beer.
Drinkability is nice. A very refreshing and clean beer. If you don't like craft beers much, try one of these. It is a drinkable, yet refined pilsner that the big boys are attempting with their standards.

Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by October 15, 2012:

Into a pilsener:

A: hazy straw yellow colored body with a one finger white bubbly head. The head lasts about a good thirty seconds, rapidly rising bubbles are seen rising

S: Czech Saaz hops up front (reminding me a bit like Sam Adam's Noble Pils). Nothing else really comes out.

T: a bit bready and eventually the malts and hops kick start a full flavored peppery bready taste wonderfully combined

M: light to medium, slightly bitter with a decent amount of carbonation coming out on the tongue.

O: this is a solid summer beer. Since this doesn't expire until October, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna savor the rest of these up until then.

Photo of Brad007
4.14/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright blonde color with a one-finger head into my glass. Most certainly looks like a pilsener.

Light and crisp with a fluffiness to it. Like baked bread of sorts. I welcome this.

The taste confirms what I had smelt.Very nice. Light. Crisp. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Lingering buttery malt dominates the mouthfeel.

Blah blah blah. Point is, this can now be had in a sixer. I'm just glad I've finally tried it. You know, if they upped the hopping rate a tiny bit, they could have a worthy contender to other well-known pilseners.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I remember being annoyed by the fact that Harpoon brewed an imperial pilsner before they brewed a regular one. I guess they're trying to fix that. Bottle, best by 15th October 2012.

A brilliantly clear golden yellow with a dense, fluffy white head with nice retention and lacing, this looks good. The nose has a nice Saaz hop aroma, lemony, kafir lime leaf, a little dough, a little cilantro,

The palate opens with a nice hop character up front, with a good blend of hop flavor and bitterness. The lemony hop character in this beer is unique in that it really brings to mind kafir lime leaves, instead of a more earthy, lemony aroma that most Czech pilsners have. There's a slight metallic flavor to the palate as well, one I don't wholly enjoy. The malt character is minimal, not really doughy, and mostly sweet. Fairly clean, I get no serious off-flavors or aromas. Nice, soft water profile makes this light, focused on the delicate hop flavor, and crisp carbonation of a light acidity. Drying, refreshing finish, this is an easy-to-enjoy beer. Recommended.

Photo of Daktyls
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours and hazy straw yellow color with a one fingered head that dissipates to a rocky layer of bubbles that sits atop the beer. The body is an opaque amber yellow where one can see a steady stream of bubbles and slight amount of sediment.

S: A bready aroma is present along with light malt notes and a very faint amount of hops.

T: Taste starts out bready, like the aroma with bitter notes including malts and hops.

M: Bitter on the tongue with a medium body otherwise. Not a whole lot going on for flavors but a nice light, refreshing summer beer.

O: Overall, a solid summer beer, a little less bitter would make a perfect summer beer, but a nice change to the usual summer beers.

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lynnwood Grill. Poured in a Harpoon IPA Pilsner glass (irony noted)

A - clear gold with a big white head that has good retention

S - faint grass

T - grass, pilsner malt, odd bitterness in the finish

M - light to medium bodied, smooth, a bit crisp

This was a hot evening and this hit the spot. Honestly though, beyond it's refreshing qualities, it lacks depth and flavor. There are better examples out there.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Clear yellow straw, good lacing

SMELL: Herbal, floral, soft resin, hop oil, light biscuity malt, very clean

TASTE: Very crisp, moderate sized body, slightly bitter, herbal, sweet floral, spicy, mild breadiness, dry, very clean, mildly hoppy finish

Very well done. Extremely drinkable with a solid hop profile which is pretty much what I expect for the style. If there was a touch more malt backbone here it would certainly rival its counterparts.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 6/26/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very bready from a thin malt character and lager yeast. Then a mild malt and citrus sweetness comes in. The hops presence is very mild but provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: A little tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid lighter beer to pound down for a long time.

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good starting head, but it dies too quickly and leaves little lace on the glass. The color is pale gold with no cloudiness at all.

Malted grain aroma with a mild floral hop nose. Attractive with no raw grain smells.

Peppery initial taste. This changes to a mellowed pale malt flavor. But the swallow reverts to the pepper from the hop. Relatively complex with a full mouthfeel and ample carbonation. Classic pils flavors that I think could compete against more famous versions.

Photo of bubseymour
2.46/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a - looks like apple juice

s - I don't smell anything at all. I don't know if I should qualify it as bad since its absent of smell

t - Not a very good pilsner. bitter and not because of noble hop flavors, just bland bitterness. Slight grainy notes as well. Slightly metallic taste like an APA as well.

M - ok

Overall - Not a pilsner that I would go back to. Rather have a BMC for refreshness.

Photo of pburland23
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a clear fizzy golden yellow with about two fingers of white head which quickly dissipated. Some moderate lacing. Has the look of an archetypal pilsner.

Smell: Crisp clean floral hops aroma with a distinct grassy aroma. Pretty spot on for style.

Taste: Grassy and floral with the tell tale taste of noble hops. The finish is slightly bitter and moderately dry.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with some pleasing prickly carbonation. As with most pilsners, it's light and drinkable.

Overall: With so many quality pilsners available, it's hard to get too excited about this one. It's good but there are better choices out there.

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Rattle ‘n Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of floral hops in the nose along with some hints of herbal hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that herbal hops are a bit stronger and there are also flavors of bready malts. There is a very light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an average pilsener but the herbal hops set it apart and make it taste a bit different compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of the summer mixed 12 pack. Pours a very bubbly golden color, nice fluffy head. Smell is of sharp Euro-type hops. Good mouthfeel, medium bodied, great pils taste to it with a clean finish. A nice smooth, well balanced beer perfect on a hot summer day. Crisp and refreshing, a nice addition to a summer mixed pack.

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pasty white fizzy but creamy looking 1 finger head that tries to fade but is reinforced by the many bubbles floating up, and leaves some bits of lacing as it fades, brilliantly clear golden pilsner color.

Nose is crisp and aromatic, bright as well. First thing I get is the nice noble hops, mild grassy and floral hops, strong noble hops that smell fresh as well. Then pilsner aromas, light soft toasty straw malts, creamy and fresh aromatic malts, very light crisp lager like aromas.

Taste starts with a decent bitterness but not strong, again the big time noble hops dominate nicely with some fresh grassy and floral hops, nice noble hops, with a hint of a juicy fruity hop kick. Malts are quite juicy and tasty, nice lighter toasty hint of straw like pislner malts, with a touch of creaminess. It also has a crisp lager demeanor as well. Finish gets fairly bitter, surprisingly bitter actually, with lots more grassy floral hops and a touch spicy at this point, with long lingering bitterness, quite dry and crisp.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, good carb.

overall very impressed, one of the best Harpoon beers I've ever had. Like Sam Noble Pils but kicked up a notch, with great noble hops that start light, but give a nice kick, and finish nice and strong, with great malt flavors and good long dry crisp and bitter finish. I think I'm actually going to get a bunch of this for the summer.

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Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
82 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.