Draft Bear | Mikkeller ApS

very good
131 Reviews
Draft BearDraft Bear

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malts (pils, carapils and amber), light candy sugar, hops (amarillo and cascade) and lager yeast.

Added by akorsak on 02-15-2008

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 240
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good hoppiness that got me through perhaps 400 ml. and then I could take no more. Its fairly one dimensional, a lager and even bit of malt liquor taste in there behind a good hoppiness. Maybe a different day. Found at Premiere Gourmet.Light coloured body.
Had six months later and good head and hoppy aroma.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pleased to find this at Davidsons on county line, a new spot for me, and a new mikkeller, brilliant! billed a malt liquor, im not sure what to expect. it pours a familiar looking English malty tannish brown color, with some golden hues and an inch or two of lazy white head. the nose is malts forward, and rather alcoholic for the 8% abv its listed at, but with an interesting twist of fruit in there, oranges, candied, I don't know. the flavor agrees, malt forward, not too sweet through, with some fruit and booze on the back end. its a little thinner than I want it to be, but the flavors work really well. its got an almost pilsner malt flavor to it, dry and European, but it also has some caramel sweetness. its not complex, but it isn't simple either, sort of a hard beer to put into context. fine carbonation above a medium body. the finish is spirited, and I get a touch of brown sugar as it goes out. overall a beer worth the 14 bucks I paid for it this time, but probably not one ill buy again, despite really enjoying its grain profile and drinkability.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy deep yellow in color and poured with a finger high frothy white head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a quarter-finger high head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of spicy hops in the nose.
T: The beer has flavors of spicy hops along with notes of bready malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a little crispness and a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The beer has a light amount of bitterness and coats your mouth a bit.
O: This beer has some refreshing properties and hides its alcohol very well. It has a rather good balance between the malts and hops.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Adventurous and currous, this larger-than-life Lager pits assertive grainy-sweet flavors early against a dry and fleeting finish.

Draft Bear opens with a hazy golden color and good head formation/retention of stark-white foam. Low lacing on the glass.

Water soaked barley kernels give a grainy start but mixes well with softer breadier sweet notes. Herbal and grassy notes speak to the assertive hop additions. Red apples/bruised apples come to the forefront as the beer warms.

Bold Pilsneresque flavors give a grainy-sweet flavor up front. A mix of apples (red, bruised variety) give a part ester/part yeast taste. The beer makes a quick transition from its flavorful upstart and towards a fleeting and somewhat empty taste well before mid palate. Hop flavors of pine and fresh cut grasses sit just behind the sweetness and take over the beer as the malty flavors fade. Low aftertaste of soft grain/malt and moderate hop bitterness.

Medium-full upstart quickly empties out for a very dry and powdery shaddow of a beer. The dryness is amplified by hop bitterness and moderate alcohols. The dry finish is satisfying, but the empty mid stride certainly speaks toward American adjunct lagers.

An interesting choice that has a promising early taste and drinkable dryness in the end- just a bit soul-less in between.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with three hefty fingers of thin, puffy, foamy white head, which leaves a few broad swaths of flattened sudsy lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of biscuity, bready pale malt, candy sugar, and a bitter citrus rind hoppiness. The taste is semi-sweet grainy white malt, some mildly honeyed orchard fruitiness, a strong earthy, herbal citrus bitterness, some ethereal musty yeastiness, and a moderate metallic alcohol twinge.

The carbonation is mild, yet a tad frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, with a slight boozy slickness tugging at the palate. It finishes mostly on the sweet side, though the big Yankee hops strive hard to make their case for a sort of teetering balance.

Definitely more approachable than most examples of the style that I've encountered, and still retaining that simmering malt-liqour-esque booziness. Here this is well attenuated by the healthy addition of those usual American hop suspects, Amarillo and Cascade, so much so that I more than once felt like I was just drinking a somewhat overly hot west coast IPA. Interesting, I suppose, and a 'good' version of a kind of unnecessary offshoot on the beer style evolution chart.

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Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color that verges on amber; the head is massive and rocky, leaving clumps of foam stuck to the side of the pint glass (I decided not to pour the beer into a pilsner glass so that I could better enjoy the aroma)

Smell: The malts and hops both come through with verve - the malts bringing taffy and toast, while the hops add a grassy but pithy charge

Taste: Taffy and toast, up front, but it doesn't take long for the bitterness to set in, with a surprisingly grassy character considering that we are dealing with Amarillo and Cascade); there is a citrusy punch, as well, which is to be expected; a hint of apple appears at mid-palate and lingers after the swallow; in the finish, just a smidge of the candi sugar can be detected, but it is the hops that leave the final impression

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation

Overall: Having had my share of disappointment with this style, I was expecting a beer that was boozy and sweet with a clash from the noble hops; this was more like a DIPA and, but for the mouthfeel; I might never have guessed it was a lager; no twang and no booze - just really well done

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1pt 9.4 oz brown glass bottle with a cork reinforced by one of those four prong twisted metal caps served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. Note that Mikkeller is me favourite brewery in the world. I believe I'm new to this style of beer but I could be mistaken.

A: Four finger head of lovely soft cream lacing, great thickness, and really good retention. Colour is a cloudy transparent copper. Very appealing.

Sm: A strong scent of souring hops, cream, and milk (I know). Rather pleasant and appealing.

T: Stilted strange cream alongside some weird soft ester I've not encountered before. The cream carries through as an undercurrent through the finish, which is pleasant and aids the otherwise overburdened unobtrusive barley body. It is a bit imbalanced, and the middle act lacks inspiration unfortunately. That said, it's built pretty well and is refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a touch of unwelcome coarseness right on the finish. Doesn't really complement the flavours of the body, a disappointment coming from Mikkeller.

Dr: It drinks very well for the relatively high ABV, but doesn't deliver promising or inspired flavours. The middle sags in its blandness. I was very disappointed as a Mikkeller fanatic, but in fairness Mikkeller always does better at darker stronger beers than this. Moreover, it's wildly overpriced.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of European dry hops is totally dominating. Taste is a mix between some huge dry and somewhat floral European hops and a huge malt base. Full body with some great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done for the style but this is a style that I have a hard tie to dig - I find beer tend to be too dry.

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Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Pilsnert Urquell glass a hazed honey golden with a large fluffy white head that stuck like glue to the glass as it settled very slowly.Big grassy and herbal hits the nostrils on impact of the pour then a honey sweetness as a well as some mineral shows thru just nicely balanced with a real pronounced hop profile.Wow the flavors of this double pils to me are up there with the Sam Adams Hallertau pils, big herbal-spicey hop along with some citric hop intermingling with caramel and honey malt is just great.A great beer and it will keep hopheads like me happy but stay somewhat true to styel,a great beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy deep yellow with slight amounts of visible carbonation and a finger high fluffy white head. The beer had very good head retention but did not exhibit as much lacing on the glass as I expected.

S: The aromas were pretty much completely from the hops - spicy and a little floral + citrus. An extremely bold nose on this beer.

T: The flavors of this beer were hops forward with a malty finish - but maybe not quite as hoppy as I expected or wanted. There were hints of spiciness from the hops and the taste of alcohol was well masked. There was only a light amount of bitterness present in the taste of this beer.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation, this beer coats your tongue in a very pleasant manner.

O: Enjoyable and I imagine this beer would pair very well with a hearty winter soup or oven roasted root vegetables. I might have enjoyed just a little more hoppiness and bitterness in this beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange body with a full, frothy, white head.

Smell: Light pale malt aroma packed with notes of spice, booze, and citrus peel.

Taste: Bready pale maltiness, a hint of grain. Middling sweetness. Bright citrusy fruitiness. A spoonful of marmalade. Floral, spicy hops with a mild bitterness. Slightly boozey. Warming, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Actually, this isn't half bad, though it is a bit pricey. Still, though, I do recommend wrestling with the Draft Bear.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Polished pumpkin with bubblebee borders. A yeasty haziness would improve the look of the liquid. The gorgeous crown, on the other hand, needs no help at all. Following the pour, it settles out at four full fingers of cotton-like stickiness that is blasting the glass with lace. Brewed and bottled in Lochristi-Hufte, Belgium. Hmmm...

I love the fact that Mikkeller is in love with American hops and uses them like they're going out of style. The nose is redolent of sunny tangerine, musky peach, pink grapefruit and ganja. Amarillo and Cascade is such a wonderful combination where there's no strongly scented (and flavored) malt to get in the way.

It's obvious that Draft Bear is generously hopped. Unfortunately, unlike the best versions of the style, it isn't insanely hopped. This must be a pretty fresh bottle since the 'best by' date on the synthetic cork is December 2009. Ain't no way the beer will any good at that point. Don't age it... drink it!

This Imperial pilsner doesn't taste radically different from a DIPA. Sure, the lager yeast gives it a certain 'absence of esters' cleanliness, but otherwise the similarities are there. The malt sugars are helped along by candi sugar that, thankfully, doesn't produce a tooth-rotting sweetness.

The taste score isn't higher because the hops aren't quite bold enough. 50% more flavor and 50% more bitterness would have gotten it there with ease. Atop a sugar cookie-like base is a cornucopia of juicy fruit that includes tangerine, peach and white grapefruit. Amarillo seems more prominent than Cascade on the palate. Exceptionally well-buried alcohol is a big plus.

The mouthfeel almost reaches the next rung of the quality/score ladder. It's full and borderline sticky, with something less than a Belgian-like voluminousness. Greatness would have meant either bigger and more viscous... or lighter, creamier and fluffier.

It seems that Mikkeller is incapable of brewing anything but good beer (Stateside IPA, Struisse Mikkeller) and great beer (Beer Geek Breakfast, All Others Pale and Jackie Brown). Draft Bear belongs in the first group and is definitely worth a purchase for anyone even remotely interested in the style. What the hell is Draft Bear anyway?

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Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent bronze with 4+ fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Lemons, grapefruits, grassyness & soapyness as well

T: Grapefruit, a touch of booze warmth, grainyness & a touch of honey malt up front. Grapefruit, lemons & pineapple dominate as this warms, along with dryness, apricot & passion fruit. Finishes dry, fruiity, with hints of appleskins, buried in Grapefruitty hops & nice honey sweetness

MF: Smooth, medium bodied, creamy, great balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, a very good take on the style. A little more hop freshness wouldn't hurt, but this is a keeper!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light amber with a nice cap of white hanging over the top of the glass. Nice rich looking head of foam on the top of the glass here now as well, nicely done I have to say. Aroma immediately is a bit boozy with hints of grass, touches of hops, and a light fruit note that seems to pick up the warmer it gets. Interesting flavor profile as well here. Not at all what I was expecting. Hints of citrus, a touch of herbal, floral notes and a really nice and well laid out malty background. Quite nicely done

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Photo of Slatetank
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up @ State Line and enjoyed it cold in my La Fin Du Monde glass.

A - A very light amber w/ a gentle haze, tons of active rising bubbles, the cork came out with a fwoop! The head is like a milkshake -frothy white and dense. The lace clings well w/ a wavy web pattern.

S - A spicy noble hop scent(saaz) w/ crisp herbal and slightly piney hints w/ a nice mellow malt. The malt flavor has a hint of bready yeast in the nose

M - A very gentle spice which accents a sweet/slightly bitter hoppy quality. The feel has a very nice balance of carbonation w/ smooth hop oils and subtle toasted malt that leads to a semi dry finish. A subtle-barely noticeable warming effect as it nears half empty is noticed w/ more herbal textures

T - A very tasty spiced yet green herbal taste from the hops w/ a malty but lightly sweet overall taste. The flavor is sweet w/ pine hop notes and dry pils malt flavor w/ subtle toasted and sweet essence. The hops are the focus as you would expect and the abv seems to show up in the finish but very sneakily, at the last taste. A refreshing flavor like the original un-doubled style, but quite a nice balancing act of strength and finesse. I love the malt hop combo since it is true to its inspiration - the Pilsner.

D -This is the easiest Imp Pils I have tasted, but still boldw/ a slightly strong quality toward the end, but the noble hops and mild malt w/ subtle warmth of 8% can't be beat for the 750ml was too easy for me to finish especially when scanning the BA forum. This is definitely something I want to taste again -I highly recommend this.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly fogged orange gold with a creme head that leaves a fair amount of lacing. Flavor is a bit sweet and fairly smooth. Carries a bit of a bite to it that only has a touch of alcohol to it. Massive complexity here? No. Slight hops are here, yes. But not a whole lot really when you look at it. The strongest part of this beer is its smooth qualities. There is a bit of a tart edge to it. Feel is better on carbonation than liquid, but still nice. Overall this is very drinkable. Nothing crazy, but pretty smooth with a barely noticed alcohol.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09/14/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellars in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deeper golden yellow in color. Full fluffy one inch plus head with good staying power. Some decent lace trails and light patches left behind.

Smell- Nice and hoppy..some grapefruit and lemon in the mix. Smells like a quality pils nose. Maybe just a touch of grain.

Taste- Tastes right on the borderline of a heavy IPA...make that English IPA, or a light Imperial Pils. Nice and hoppy, but not super intense. Light malt base, not too heavy..very mellow.

Mouthfeel- Lightly creamy, nice lasting grapefruit hopped aftertaste, warms up quickly. Keep this one in the fridge until the last minute. Mid range carbonation...gets a touch foamy if it gets towards room temp.

Drinkability- This is a sessionable Imperial Pils if I have ever had one. Not 100% true to style. Really feels like a strong English IPA. Still, quite drinkable and quite tasty...whatever it may be...good job.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a brownish golden orange with yellow highlights that had a 2 finger head and it did leave lots of bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got lots of sweetness in the aroma from the candy sugar but did have a slight malt prsence with very fainy hop notes in the background. It also seemed to have a little citrus character as well.

T: the candy sugar and the hops really mesh quite well and give good flavor contrast between them with a little bit more sweetness from the malts coming through but still had crisp citrus notes and a touch of booze.

M: the brew was medium in body with lots of carbonation which had a sweet, slight hoppy, but silky, crisp finish.

D: it drank very well and was quite tasty considering the lack of ingedients going into this beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this brew.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Silver Foil

Pours a very nice golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with lots of nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some yeast, and slight hop note, slight citrus. The taste is malty, yeasty/hoppy, very slight citrus note. Medium body. Drinkable, a very nice brew, not as hot as other Double Pilsners.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another Mikkeller beer that has been showing up in Orange County. 750 ml corked and caged bottle, on to the beer:

Brilliant bold gold color in the body. The head on top is thick, luscious, and has outstanding retention...still very thick as the beer is consumed. The nose catches hops, hops, and more hops. Notes of fresh pine emerge alongside a light, crackery malt.

One sip, and you're hoppy side is satisfied. Plenty of hops. Hop bitterness, hop herbs, hop oils, a squirt of hop juice, tropical flavors. The hops really pull through in the beer, though never overbearing or out of place. A bit of of rubbing alcohol is felt in this strong pilsner. Not heavy, smoooothe, goes down without much trouble.

Imperial Pilsners are always an adventure. This one is no different. Worth trying, but very pricey at $14.99.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head. The aroma is pilsner malt with a mix of hop flavors including grass, pine and citrus. The flavor is orange citrus hops with some light pine notes and a strong backbone of pilsner malt. There are also a lot of grassy hops in the flavor. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of dar482
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

The beer comes in a dark glowing orange amber.

The aroma is slightly weak, but of piney hops, sweet malt, and grapefruit. A bit of that lager yeast comes through.

On the flavor, the beer has sweet caramel malt, spicy, floral, and piney hops. A bit of grapefruit with a big smack of chewy green hops. The body is medium.

The beer offers a bit too much malt and chewy hop character.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a big, rocky, pure white head that sticks around. A bit hazy. Smell is slightly sharp and hot with alcohol, pilsner yeast, some bready notes, and some earthy hops. Taste is similar. It has more of a lager tang from the yeast and isn't as clean as a pilsner. It is also not as exuberantly hopped as the Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. Tastes more like a high quality malt liquor to me- which is what the bottle says. The bready notes are still there, but they are a bit buried by spicy, earthy hops and the lager yeast as well as some caramel and buttery notes. A little prickly going down. Not bad, but not exactly my cup of tea. Nothing really remarkable here, and it is still a bit raw.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best By Cork Date February 2009; Sampled March 2008
A vigorous pour yields a four-finger thick, light tan colored head that forms some structural mesas and leaves some crunchy lacing on the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes. The beer is a honey color, but shows a lightly hazy, orangish copper color when held up to the light. The aroma has a nice grassy hop character to it up from, but this is immediately followed by a mix of sweet malt and hop notes that contributes an almost honey-like, wild flower nectar aroma. Aromatic notes of orange blossoms, lemon zest, fresh mown hay, grassy grain, soda crackers and a distinct fruitiness that is like a cross between apricot and pear. The fruit notes in the aroma are quite interesting, though this seems to dissapate as the beer warms and I work my way through the beer.

The beer is still fairly well carbonated after sitting for the last ten minutes; it foams up a bit as it hits my mouth. There is a nice grain sweetness to this beer, but it is not so much that I would characterize this as a sweet beer. Lots of hop character helps to offset the grain sweetness; flavors of hay, herbal grass notes, and a touch of menthol. Towards the finish the hop character gets much more herbal, with an accented menthol note and it even gets a bit astringent and green; a sure sign of a hopped up brew. The bitterness is not overwhelming here, it is solid, noticeable and even lingers on for quite a bit in the finish; either some low cohumulon hops were used or it does not have an over-abundance of IBUs when compared to the malt. The malt sweetness accents flavors of wild-flower honey with a touch of bergamot and orange flower. While this is certainly not a light Pilsner, it drinks fairly lightly for a beer of its strength, capturing perhaps the intent of a Pilsner if not the actual lightness.

As the beer warms up it picks up some more sweetness and a bit of warming alcohol in the finish, though I will admit that over all the alcohol is fairly well hidden here. A pretty tasty brew; the hop character can be a bit green and grassy at times, but this is perfectly in line with an "imperial" Pilsner and certainly distinct from an IPA.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 picked up today at the Coop on the bargain bin in the back of the store... $10.. not bad. The single bottle has been back there for at least a few days, but I kept putting it off for other PNW stuff... I caved tonight. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

quite the pop upon opening... 3 finger head takes forever to die back.. a ton of crusty lace is left behind... the brew is an only slightly hazed deep honey orange.

I never in a million years would have picked Imperial Pilsner from the nose.. alot of citrus hops... spicy notes as well... and enough malt to make it interesting, but the hops are still pretty prevalent..

Flavor more resembles the Impy Pils.. not nearly as bitter as I was expecting, in fact, the hops are more of a spicy/floral element.. the cleanliness of the yeast is a nice touch.. otherwise I would have guessed DIPA in a heartbeat... this is my idea of a great beer for the style... I don't like the Sam Adams nearly as much... that one was just waaay to bitter for me.. very clean and not fruity.. this is a nice brew. the body is a firm medium with a bunch of small bubble carbonation..

This is a pretty damn good beer... I'm very glad I came to my senses and decided to pick it up... I think I actually snatched it from a guy who was looking.. but oh well.. his loss, you gotta strike when the iron is hot.

I hope the boys at the Coop really push inroad with this brewery... I've had a couple of their beers before and have been very impressed.

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Draft Bear from Mikkeller ApS
3.99 out of 5 based on 240 ratings.
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