Panzer Imperial Pilsner | Port Brewing

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Panzer Imperial PilsnerPanzer Imperial Pilsner
188 Ratings
Panzer Imperial PilsnerPanzer Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paytoplay on 10-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 135
Reviews by abfraser:
Photo of abfraser
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper/orange with a nice white head. Head quickly disappears. Carbonation appears on the low side

S: Pilsner-like malt, honey, not much hops at all

T/M: And there are the hops. Honey sweetness, the pilsner smell doesn't translate into a big pilsner taste. That probably has something to do with the big hops that blow away anything else, leaving a bitterness that lingers. I think the sweet malt and hops are in good balance here overall, though. Could see why someone who doesn't like hops wouldn't like this. Good creamy mouthfeel.

D: At 9.5% abv not something you're going to drink a bunch of. But it's pretty well balanced.

Overall like this beer. I don't get the "Imperial Pilsner" label, though. Don't see pilsner characteristics coming through too much. But enjoyable, nonetheless

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - This is a murky and unattractive orange in color with a surprisingly dull head.

Smell - The hop profile is more like a West Coast IPA than a Pils. There's also a putrid grain aroma that doesn't give me any confidence.

Taste - The hop profile is stiff and I can't figure out for the life of me what it has to do with a Pils, imperial or otherwise. The grain tastes just like it smelled unfortunately.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with some decent carbonation and a heavy-handed bitter finish.

Drinkability - OK, I know this is a big beer and it's not going to taste like a classic Pils, but this was just downright horrible and a huge disappointment from one of my favorite breweries. Stick to what you know, guys.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

A lively pour that induces a very thick, white foam head. Hazy gold that drops bright as the beer warms. Fresh, dank hops in the nose with plenty of floral notes. Smooth. Creamy. Up front bite of alcohol, heat and spice. Bready, biscuity malts. Sugary sweet. Suggestions of honey. Fruity; apples, tropical. Hoppy, bitter and assertive with decent doses of citrus, herbal and resins. Coarseness and astringency. Bone-dry, bitter finish with alcohol fumes on the breath. Perhaps a bit too hot and sweet, and could use some cleaning up, but other than that, it is what it is ... a big American Pils, brewed like a tank, hopped-up and ready to kick your ass.

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Photo of GarrettB714
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What is not to like about this beer? Pours bright, cloudy gold with an exploding white head. The usual clove, spice, and grass, are here, but with mango, pepper, and herbs from the added hops. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The sweet lagery tastes blend well with the hops. More clove and bananas in the flavor along with a little grapefruit and tangerine that breaks through the Saaz-like notes. Maybe this will spark a Cali-Pils crossover akin to the Belgian-Cali IPA.

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Photo of standardcherry
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of jimiv73
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

im not too keen on this pilsner although ive heard alot of good things! i poured it off without much head being produced and the beer was good going down but the after taste really steered me away! the price is great for 26 oz i paid like 4 dollars and its a whopping 9.5% alcohol!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

Hazy golden orange and a thin white head. Spots of lace down the glass, though this beer looks heavy, thick, and substantial.

Muted aromas of bread and grain, some alcohol, and a touch of citrus.

Simple bitterness, bread and grain, a mild citrus, and a burning alcohol finish.

Medium to thick bodied. Ample carbonation.

A big, thick, and heavy imperial pilsner. There's nothing here I particularly liked, and I didn't finish my pint, though this is not at all a bad beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow pour, somewhat hazy, big white head and lacing. Aroma was heavy on the hops and alcohol for style.

Big bitterness, big hops, warming alcohol on the palate, about the biggest pilsner anything I've ever had, drinks like a hazy yellow ipa with noble hops. Mild sweetness. Dry, astringent at times, can be a nice change in a drinking lineup, as I had been drinking sours and stouts most of the day, this was a nice revitalization.

Would be a very good beer if the alcohol heat was tamed a little bit, but nonetheless, still likeable.

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Photo of pwoods
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bomber courtesy of Joey at South Bay, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a lightly cloudy grapefruit skin orange. Carbonation seems a bit low... not quite a finger worth of just off white head forms from a somewhat rough pour. Good retention, though, and nice lacing.

S: Plenty of spicy hops with a grassy, 'farm field' twang going on. Plenty of pils malts with a pronounced grainy aroma.

T/M: Good bitterness level with a good kick of spicy, zesty hops. That's definitely the first thing I notice and then a good kick of sweetness and alcohol come rushing in. The sweetness is actually a bit over done and the alcohol is quite present. Some citrus from the hops comes through with the alcohol and brings lasting bitterness through the finish. Body is medium, maybe medium full. The carbonation again feels lacking and makes the body feel thicker than it should, maybe even a bit syrupy.

D: Not a bad beer at all but not quite up to par with nearly all of Tomme's other beers. The feel and ABV(and alcohol presence) make the drinkability much lower than it should be, regardless if this is an 'imperial' or not.

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Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of sloejams
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This bad boy poured an orange-yellow and instantly I got a whirl of the ABV. The next aroma to hit was the honey. In fact, initially that was the only smell I got. Slowly that followed with some hop presence but still the sweetness prevailed. The body was lighter than the aroma indicated, I sloshed it around a bit a bit surprised with how light it was. The taste however brought it back to the big sweetness of honey.

It was almost sickly sweet in a way that you would get sucking on a hop-flavored honeycomb. One with a boasting booze content. Banging through the 22oz solo wasn't the easiest as the ABV was quite noticeable. I'd try it again, but would rather a smaller serving.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Port- Panzer Pils

A- Bright clear yellow with a large frothy white heavy lacing head.
S- Lemony hay/ straw cereal grain malt with a touch of rubbing alc.
T- Sweet sugary lemony dry grassy hops with a sweet grainy hay/straw maltiness. Alc. is present throughout.
M- Sweet and dry toasty grains and hops are overpowered by the booziness.

Overall- The high alc. ruins it. Drinkable but too boozy.

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Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to HopHead84 for this extra! Thanks a bunch Shane!

Pours a nice clear, well very slight haze, (chill?) with a big fluffy marshmallowy white head that lingers like the kid who has no weed and comes over just cause he knows you will eventually smoke out. Except this leaves lacing, and that guy just leaves a dump in the toilet and a dirty glass by the sink.

Nose is very interesting. Orange and citrus leap out strong along with citrusy west coast hops. Some candy like astringent sweetness that is very subtle and mixes in with the hop profile. Some slight spice and a bit of perfume.

Whoa! Now this is wierd. Literally tastes like those gummi snacks that arent clear, but pastel colored. Sharks i think. Anyway. West coast hops start out the taste, but there is a lot more in here than that. Gummi candy sweetness is well complimented by the hops. A nice grassiness, earthiness as well, but not too strong. West coast grapefruit hops are here, quite bitter actually, a very hoppy beer. This is like a gummi bear IPA. There is a sort of soapiness i am not a big fan of but it is quite subtle and is easily dominated by the better parts of the brew. Quite strange.

Mouthfeel is good, but slightly thicker than i would like, even if it is nearly 10%. Carbonation is great.

Drinkability is good, but hampered a bit by the thickness, as well as the strange sweetness.

Overall a very interesting beer. Much hoppier than I expected. Certainly complex. A very well made beer, and one I would revisit. A fine line between this and a DIPA, but there is also certainly noticeable differences. A good hoppy treat. Recommended for all the hopheads out there, in fact, that is who i got it from! Thanks again Shane!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just popped the top of a stinger of Panzer Pilsner from Port Brewering and poured in to my new fish bowl thick chalice style glass!!! The beer pour a orange cloudy color with very thin white head. The scent carried alcohol and sweetness from an orange peel. The taste is heavy with alcohol and the attempted balance of malt and hop. The body is full making this a big beer. The mouthfeel is slightly downgraded due to teh alcohol. I am glad to have tried it tho.

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Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's very hazy and is a nice looking dark straw color. It's capped with a foamy white head that stands about a finger and a half tall. It dissipated pretty quickly, but a small layer of foam seemed to float on the top for a good while. It left a spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Initially, it's sweet smelling. Maybe a little sugary. It has a very interesting citrus smell to it that I was not expecting. It's smells mostly like orange peel. It really adds an interesting dimension to the nose. I like it. Hops are also more apparent than I was expecting. Actually, as I work my way through it, west coast is coming through very strong. Perhaps it's a citric element to the hops I was noticing early on. It is earthy and grainy. There's some light, sweet malt rounding it out. Alcohol is noted, but is far from offensive.

Taste: It is very sweet and sugary up front. There is a relatively strong citric component in the flavor profile. Perhaps it is attributable to the hops. Hop flavor is definitely noted, but it doesn't come across as bitter. Again, hops are much more apparent and prevalent than I expected in this beer. I like that aspect of it despite the fact that it doesn't feature much of a bitter flavor. There's quite a bit of malt in there that's sweet and tones the hop flavor down to large degree. It is very earthy and grainy. Alcohol is noted and is more pronounced here. It doesn't offend me, but it is easily noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and features some buzzy carbonation. It remains somewhat smooth, but the carbonation really keeps it out of the upper echelon of mouthfeel. Drinkability is very good. I'm enjoying this quite a bit. It's easy drinking and you'd never guess its 9.5% abv. Well, except for maybe the tank on the label. That seems to suggest you're about to get flattened.

I'm impressed with Panzer. I didn't quite know what to expect from it. It's unique and I find myself liking it quite a bit. Perhaps with all the imperializing that's going in the beer world, we'll see more beers styled "Imperial Pilsners." Definitely recommended.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first "imperial pilsner"

A- a very clear rich golden, maybe slight orange. Well formed fluffy white head builds on top, a thin layer sticks around.

S- definite smell of pilsner malt and like a subtle honey sweetness. I was expecting a little bit of a hop boquet out of it, but i'm not getting anything.

T- Really starts off a little sweet, but a nice floral taste comes through along with a bitterness.. wouldn't call it snappy... it's more of a dirty bitterness for lack of a better description. It might be because it's combining with the taste of the alcohol, giving it more of a liquor-y taste.

M- to me the slickness of this beer makes it less quenching... with the slickness of alcohol it just doesn't seem to work right, as far as my tastes go. It really doesn't the carbonation come out and give you any sort of small bite.

Just like I had a problem with Avery's Kaiser, being an Imperial Oktoberfest, I have a problem with this style also going to Imperial status. It just seems like these are a couple styles that don't really lend themselves to "imperialism"... the beefing up of the beer really seems to take away from what it was.

Somehow, don't ask me, but somehow it all comes together to make it fairly easy to drink, and is fairly enjoyable. Gotta love beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to HopDerek for the split on this one.

Pours a hazy golden amber with a finger of fizzy eggshell white head. This peters down pretty quickly into a thin layer of retention that skims the surface, leaving some decent looking spotty lacing behind. The aroma is floral and very citric with notes of orange and lemon, as well as hints of biscuits, caramel, and pale maltts.

The taste starts with a firm (and spicy) hop bitterness up front that gives way to some thick and tangy citrus character and then finally fades into a backbone of caramel and bread. The finish seems more sweet than anything, with it gradually getting the hop bitterness under control towards the back of the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a firm carbonation that keeps the overall feel crisp despite some pretty evident alcohol beef in the body.

Decent stab at the style here but this was just a bit too hefty in the feel to be totally enjoyable for me. Maybe a bit less beef or some heftier flavors to help mask some of it would have been nice.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep straw/light golden color on tap into a pint glass. A brief head of white foam is offered, settling to a surface ring shortly. Offers moderate lacing/regeneration.

Deep earthy hops on the nose mingle with nondescript malts. Overall a bit bland in nature, not sure where this brew is going. Hops are light and in the background for the most part, participating more with some warming and agitation, yet never really going front and center.

Taste is rich yet simple. A gooey sweetish beer that hides its ABV rather well and finishes with a bit of oily lemon citrus. Malts are thick yet not overly complex, carbonation is light yet somehow appropriate for the structure of the beer. I paid a premium for this beer and I'm regretting it, give me a Swami's barkeep.

Decent feel though a bit towards corn syrup in body. Drinkability is unimpressive as the thick oily body surely outweighs any malt complexities or hop notes. Any sense of a 'pilsner' is remote.

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Photo of bashiba
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a Dark funky yellow with a light sticky white head, lots of sediment.

The nose is very light with a bit of toasty grain.

The flavor is very sweet and grainy with a bit of crisp grassy hops. A bit buiscuity with a hint of alcohol and orange peel.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick and oily and a touch warming.

Overall a rather bland big beer, so over the top sweet and grainy it doesn't really have much pilsner quality to it.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz into my Ommegang Goblet. Really nice white fluffy, foamy head, about 2 fingers high. Decent retention and laces quite nicely. Smells straight up Pilsnery, spicy, appley. Can't wrap my mind around the flavor. A medium malty sweetness, but then there's the German hops. A good deep lingering bitterness. Nice piney spiciness. But then there's the sweetness. Nice carbonated mouthfeel, creamy. Tastes a bit hot though.

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Photo of scootny
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful deep clear gold that gets cloudy as I work down the bottle. Nice head and good lacing and retention.

A rich malty sweetness and spicy herbal hops. Some sweet alcohol and fruity yeast esters with a tropical tilt, light banana being the front runner. Yeasty bakery breadiness,

Taste is so nice. A big malt backbone. Sweet and bready like dinner rolls. A pine tinged hop spiciness that still tastes like a pilsner. Finish is sweet alcohol with dry spice and herbs. Clean with a dry hoppiness and multigrain breadiness. Feel is light, a touch syrupy with a superfine effervescence.

An easy drinker that hides the abv well. You can taste it but there is no way you are thinking nine and a half percent as you quaff this refreshing heavyweight.

Nice job Port! Much love to swnicholson for this one.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark orange amber with a nice white head.

Nose of sweet pine, sweet citrus and oranges. Complex and layered nose. Rich and full mouthfeel.

There is an "expensiveness" and a real quality to this beer. It has a very large yet elegant character.

The flavors are full, bold and rich, yet have an intensity. Flavors of smoke, fruit, oranges, orange/lemon marmalade and lemon mouse, all in layers and complexity.

This beer if really quite good, drinkable and goes well with food. Front finish if fruity and orange lemony that goes to a rich smokey pine and resin. All in all a very impressive effort.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as soon as my local shop got them in.

Appearance - Poured a deep golden color. First pour did not produce much head. On the second pour (hard pour) I was able to obtain about an inch of white fluffy foam which dissipates somewhat quickly. Lacing was decent.

Smell - Lemon, hops, spices, and malty characteristic. Not overly potent but nice nonetheless.

Taste - Tastes like a mild DIPA from a first sip. I can taste pine, bitter hop, some citrus. Then comes the taste of alcohol...

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Oily slick mouthfeel but very creamy. I was not expecting it to be as full as it was. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability - After the first few sips, in which I can easily taste the alcohol, it becomes more drinkable. As it warms up it begins to taste better. After one bomber I am feeling pretty good. An interesting try by Port but just not really doing it for me.

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Panzer Imperial Pilsner from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 188 ratings