Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner) | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner)Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner)

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 02-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 432
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 168 of 2012 (June 16). 2012 Imperial Pilsner Beer Camp #43. Not sure what is imperial about a 5.6% ABV beer, but I guess we will find out.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden body with a decent frothy white head.

Smell: Aroma of citrusy hops. Sweet and sticky.

Taste: Wow! Probably the most citrusy hoppy pilsner I have ever tasted! I guess that is where the imperial label comes from. A lot of taste for such a low ABV lager. Grapefruity, floral flavor. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Appropriately dense, this beer coats the mouth like few, if any other, lagers.

Overall: I love this! What a great example of what an all-star American IPA brewer can do to a lager. As a lover of pale lagers, I wish Sierra Nevada would put out something like this year-round. I would commit to a case a week at least, just in case anyone is reading this...

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Photo of russpowell
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of ivory colored head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Grassy & bready notes,

T: Grapefruity notes mix with crackery notes, lemons, some sweet bready notes up front, plus a touch of dryness. Herbal hops mix with citrus, along with dryness. Crisp, dry finish

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good balance

This is a great German Pils, the star of the variety pack IMO

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Photo of JEdmund
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden color with a foamy white cap; good streaming of bubbles throughout; thick lace curtains are left down the glass.

Aroma has a nice tea-like quality, as well as a pronounced bready maltiness and floral/grassy hops. Doesn’t scream imperial, just good standard pils. Slight melon or berry detectable (methinks the Pacifica hops) that adds a unique element to this standardized beer style.

Goes down nicely with really solid flavor. Again, not much screams imperial other than the body which does seem fuller than a standard pils. The Crystal and Pacifica hops employed lend a really nice and unique slant on the standard pils flavor. There’s that tea-like flavor found in the aroma, as well as some more standard grassy hops, but there’s also a slight strawberry-like fruitiness (not strong by any means though). Bitterness is appropriate for style, leaving a thirst-quenching dryness.

Overall the flavors are really working nicely here. This could be on par with Summerfest. And I would not guess this is actually imperial in ABV. It’s just different enough (probably due to the hops) to stand it apart from all the other pilsners out there. Yes, in fact I’m certain the hops are what’s really making this beer shine for me. I’d buy a six-pack of this without hesitation if it were an option.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Cusquena flute. Fat frothy cap of bright white foam that's constantly fed by countless streams of carbonation. Crazy spiderweb lacing; one of those magical combinations of beer and glass, appearancewise.

Big fresh grainy nose with hearty doses of citrus and grass. Flavorwise, it's got that slightly-rough-around-the-edges quality I love in a good pils. It fluffs up with carbonation into a rather robust brew midswallowy, yet finishes crisp and clean with a nice lingering graininess. Big 1-2 punch of grassy and earthy hop bite, but with a flash of citric juiciness as well. Crisp, bitter, a touch rowdy and delicious; this is pretty much what I'm looking for in a pils. Huge thumbs up. I'd buy this all the time given the opportunity.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Parkbrau Pils glass on 8/26/12

Very bright golden color; mostly clear. One thumb of white foam on top. Retention is thinner.

The aroma is loaded with grains; pilsner malt and hints of buttered biscuits. The grains are balanced by light, grassy hops and a soft floral note. Very clean aroma, overall.

The flavor is comparably clean, but gives more due to the hops. There's a nice grassy kick with hints of mild, juicy citrus. The grains are tidier here, offering a clean backdrop for the hops.

The body is fairly light without being overly crisp; it has an appropriate amount of heft to it. Moderate carbonation couples well with the body. Rather clean finish.

A full-flavored, highly drinkable, low abv imperial pilsner? Heck yeah. I'd drink this regularly if it were available.

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Photo of CHickman
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slight hazy yellow color with a huge bubbly 2 finger foamy snow white head that faded extremely slowly and left good spotty lacing and rings coating the sides; the head was so thick that you could run your finger through it a minute after the pour.

Smells of sweet malt, grains, lemon zest, citrus hops, biscuit, grass, hay, husk, mild spices and herbs; has a little more to it's nose than most pilsners, which is what I expected from Sierra Nevada.

Tastes of sweet malt, roasted grains, lemon zest, citrus hops, orange peel, floral hops, biscuit, grass, hay, pine cone/piney hops, husk, mild spices and herbs like tea leaf; the hops are evident throughout, but not dominating as the malts are tasty, sweet and roasty, and provide near perfect balance. This is a big bold pilsner, and much more full of flavor than a "standard" pils.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and refreshing, with a very light body, tight fizzy carbonation and a smooth easy feel that went down with easy. High drinkability, to me this is a session beer that I'm glad I tried and hope Sierra Nevada will but into year round production.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-light golden with a nice white head

S-fresh hoppy grains. Smells quite good. Strong scent.

T-comes in with a very bitter taste of grassy grains. Some honey. The flavors are faint. The bitterness is strong. The after-taste is slightly off with some hint of plastic.

M-high carbonation with a bitter dry finish

O-this isn't terrible, but besides the bitterness it has an adjunct quality to it. Definitely one of the hoppiest planets I've ever had. I recommend others to at least give this a try.

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Photo of acevenom
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date decoded from the Julian dating: June 16, 2012 at 3:07 in the afternoon.

Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours golden with a tall white head that dissipates slowly, leaving a thin cap atop the beer. There are plentiful tiny bubbles visible in the beer. Some lacing gets left behind on the glass. The beer smells of grain and grassy hops. The taste follows the nose. The beer has a nice pilsner malt profile that is bready and mildly sweet. That is balanced well by the hops that are floral and grassy in flavor. Those hop and malt flavors really play well together even more as the beer warms. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is dry and crisp. The drinkability is very high. This is a solid pils. It is an excellent beer.

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Photo of isualum12
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer....
I have had this beer for the second time this month and have really enjoyed it both times. This is easy one of the best pilsner I have had.

Look very light yellow glow in color. Low head with spider legs.
Smell is slightly fresh fruit or floral.
Taste iss refreshing.

Feel is classic pils.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.
5.6% ABV, no date.

A - Shimmering golden yellow with fantastic clarity, this beer camp's pilsner is topped with a sudsy white head clinging to life. The rocky pile of foam leaves chunky lace on the glass for a perfect looking beer!

S - A teeny hint of sulfury skunkiness brings some mineral-like aromas fourth among the hop and malt pleasantry. Sweet pilsner malt and hints of grainy pale attributes back up the strong herbal and floral noble hop notes while pine is merely hinted at.

T - Sticky herbal and pine notes from the hops really expand in the flavor for a bigger, but true to noble hop kick. Overarching floral pedals merge with the sweet pilsner malt, grainy pale malt, and lingering water sulfates.

M - Crisp and refreshing, this German pilsner really grabs a hold of the tongue from start to finish. Vibrant carbonation sparkles with a touch of dryness and hard water but finishes cleanly with a moderate and drinkable bitterness.

O - While lower in alcohol content, this Imperial Pilsner manages to showcase a true German pilsner within the confines of the style while ramping it up enough to be a "imperial" without being a booze-bomb. I really like the bolder malt and hop complexities which merge for a stronger flavor but keeping the beer's intent; drinkablility.

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Photo of shand
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner pours a hazy golden color with a finger of head. The aroma is full of noble hops and pilsner malts. A bit bigger and heavier on the hops than a normal pilsner. The taste is excellent, with a strong noble hop addition over a normal amount of pilsner malt and body. The drinkability is excellent. Overall a great pilsner that I prefer to their Summerfest. Highly recommended for fans of the style.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear gold in color, with a big two-inch head of white foam,
Aroma-Piney hop note, pilsner malt
Taste-bready pilsner malt, nice dose of piney hops, well-balanced and sessionable. A fine match for tacos or bacon wrapped shrimp.

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Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a lambic glass.

Body is the color of pale, filtered apple juice. Clean and clear. Carbonation. Head was about 1/3 of the glass and has dissipated, leaving a ring and moderate lacing.

Aroma is fruity hops, more than just citrus. A better nose than mine would help. Also some grain. Not overly strong.

Taste is a good German pilsner. Just enough sweetness, malt and some hops.

Mouthfeel is good. Sweetness does not coat your mouth, leaving a clean palate.

Overall a very good beer. It is a step beyond most pilsners, but not quite an imperial. The labeling is my only issue with this one. I would buy another, but supply is very limited.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pellucid gold. No effervescence. A finger of white head fades quickly. Sticky lace.

S: Very nice hops. Crisp, dry-clean citrus. I like it.

T: Great pilsner! One of the best I've had, actually. Great malt base is the key, lightly sweet, lightly biscuity. The earthy, floral hops provide an excellent accent and the yeast is clean and distinct.

M: No problems or comments here.

O: An excellently crafted beer. Highly recommended. Would drink again.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean golden yellow, with a huge head of white bubbles. Beautiful, intricate, and ornate lace!

Aroma is crisp, grainy, and yeasty. A tinge of citrus and floral hops comes in, as well, making this one very appealing, indeed.

Taste shows the malts and grains appearing up front, followed by a hoppy bitterness at the back of the tongue. Still, this is a fittingly mild and easy-to-drink pilsner with tons of flavor. Absolutely superb!

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Photo of jjanega08
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No known freshness dating.
Bottle neck has a stamp that reads
2168218: 04

A= Pours a light golden yellow color. THe brightness of the yellow is actually sort of unnatural looking it's such a bright yellow. It looks like piss when someone has too much vitamin B12. The head rises to a half finger and falls fast into a ring around the glass and leaves little lacing behind.

S= The smell is a full on grassy hop aroma with a little bit of a straw sort of smell to it.

T= The flavor matches the smell pretty well. A nice grassy hop punch to start it out followed by a nice straw flavor and a biscuity finish on it. It's not an over the top pilsner but it fits nicely into the style. I feel like pilsners should exhibit a bit of restraint.

M= Crisp and clean.

O= I actually like this. This may be my favorite of the series so far. A nice crisp hop flavor and finish highlighted by some nice straw buiscuity flavor. A solid beer.

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Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant and golden with a medium sized white head. Apples, pears, grapefruit, very fruit aroma. Sweetness is balanced by a very clean bitterness and accentuated by more hop fruit in the flavor profile. Lager yeast characteristics are present and very clean. Great hop flavor achieved through dry hopping. Mouthfeel starts off creamy but finishes with a fantastic dryness.

At 5.6% ABV I don’t really agree with calling this an Imperial Pilsner, but this would make a great session beer on a hot day.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of pilsner malts with lemon zest and citrus hops with some bread and bit of lager yeast esters.

T - Starts off with a mix of pilsner malts with some lemon zest and citrus hops with a bit of bitterness. Through the middle, a bit more bitterness comes through with some floral hops, some bready malts. The finish is a mix of pilsner malts with lemon zest, citrus hops, a bit of lager esters.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced and finish very nice crisp finish.

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Photo of FISHMAN63
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am really enjoying this Beer! Love Sierra Nevada's Hoppy approach to this Pilsner. Nice golden straw color. Great nose and taste. Piney Floral flavors are abundant. Well balanced. Wouldn't know that this beer is almost 6% if it didn't say it on the side of the bottle. Really enjoy the resiny mouthfeel that the crystal and pacifica dry hops bring to this beer.

This is a Great Summer Beer! It was over 100 Degrees F. at my house today and this was the perfect beer to sit back and relax with.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Crystal clear light golden straw body with active effervescence and a small short lives airy head. 

S:  Sweet honey, herbal hops, spices, timid mentholated aroma, zesty citrus tartness. 

T/M:  Zesty, sweet with spicy hops, citrus oils, fresh herbs, touch of honey, red delicious apples and dry straw.  Body is slightly coarse and flavors are a tad rough with stickiness as well as prickly carbonation. Finish is dry and lingers orange rind bitterness and herbs. 

O:  Fantastic German pilsner. This is a sweet sticky pilsner that delivers great flavors and aromas.  I was impressed with this and would love to have this year round. I could easily kill a six pack in no time at all.

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Photo of ZAP
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting take on a pislner...almost a west coast style pilsner....hops lend a nice citrus/tropical fruitiness...aroma is more floral and fresh...crackery maltiness that is a perfect back to the hops...never feels big or imperial....just a nice drinking, interesting take on the style....wouldn't mind seeing this in sixers in place of Summerfest...

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Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a recent trip to The Foodery (Northern Liberties) to load up on CANs for outstanding debts. I am not huge on bottles, but this and the IPA were enticing.

From the bottle: "Packing a big hop-forward punch and bright crisp finish, this golden pilsner features a hearty dose of 'sticky' resinous Crystal and Pacifica dry hops, which balance the light-bodied yet complex malt backbone."

My pour created a beer that could have easily gone in a TV commercial from the 1950's or 1960's! It had a big (two-plus fingers) off-white head with great retention and a deep golden-yellow color that would have made King Midas sit up and take notice. The NE-quality clarity and abundance of CO2 bubbles would make Greg Koch scoff and call me a "sissy", but I will take that sobriquet if this is what I get to drink in return. Nose was, ahem, pungent with grassy hops. Mouthfeel was medium with an initial oily slickness on the tongue to get the hops rolling. Finish was dry and grassy and pleasantly hoppy.

I am a self-avowed hophead and for a long time, I eschewed lagers in favor of AIPAs until my FerMentor, Lew Bryson, turned me onto (especially) Czech Pilseners. Since then, I know a good one when I taste it and this was just the ticket. I assume that It will be a limited release, so you might consider trying it before it is gone.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours straw with a medium white head, nice retention, some lace.

S: Real nice malt and straw, quite malty, bready notes.

T: Good Saaz like notes. Grassy, earthy flavours. Direct and tasty.

M: Medium-bodied, very crisp carbonation, very well made.

O: The bottle says 5.6%. In my opinion this is a true pils, not Imperial as the bottle says. This is quite a good beer and well made.

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Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Rich gold with large white head which leaves sticky lacing.

Smell: Much more citrusy and tropical than any Pilsner should be (not a bad thing). Some light hay like graininess. The crazy hop smell dissipates a little quickly, and then it smells more like a standard Pils.

Taste: Typical Pilsner malt backbone of apple, straw and hay. The hops are a great counterpoint, with a little of the more American tropical flavor, but also some more spicy and floral German hop flavor.

Feel: More medium bodied, sticky and resinous than a standard Pils. High carbonation and a dry finish, but not as dry as the best Pilsners.

Overall: Interesting off-style take on the Pilsner. Quite delicious, but the Sticke Pilsner name should have used for the variety pack release. Imperial Pilsner is just stupid, as there is nothing Imperial about this. On the other hand, the Oatmeal Stout from the same pack is 9% and not labeled Imperial. Epic fail for Sierra Nevada marketing.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

At 5.6% ABV, it's hard to call this an Imperial Pils, but I see that it's elsewhere been called the Sierra Nevada Sticke Pils. In any case, this is the 2012 Beer Camp #43 beer, which my bottle entitles "Imperial Pilsner". Purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours a clear and pale yellow colour, with an initially rocky and foamy head of white, that settles down to some faint webbing and a mess of lace. Carbonation is fine and refined, leaving lovely silk gossamer threads of bubbles running through the centre of the beer. Overall, it's a pretty suitable look for a pilsener.

Nose is clean and fresh, but with an aroma that reminds me just how use to (and perhaps spoiled by) New Zealand pilseners I am. This is a leafy, clean but slightly vegetative European aroma (despite the fact that the label mentions Crystal and Pacifica as the hops), mixed with a pleasant clean malt tinged with a slight crystal sweetness. That's something of a surprise, and perhaps it's here that the extra body, or the "imperial" of the name is borne. It's decent enough, but I really expect something punchy and bold from an "Imperial", ABV notwithstanding.

Taste is very pleasant: clean malt character flecked with slight grainy overtones, balanced with a very crisply delivered whack of hop bitterness. Faint astringency towards the back, almost a suggestion of higher alcohol, with a lingering, dancing, volatile floral note on the finish. Indeed, on the aftertaste is a pleasant uptilt in sweetness: it gives a slight sherbet sugar character that mingles nicely with the residual hop oils to provide a crisp, bright ending. Very nice stuff.

Feel is light, fresh and pleasant, I wouldn't expect anything else from Sierra Nevada.

Overall, despite my worries about the aroma, this is a damn-good beer. It's clean, crisp, remarkably drinkable and very, very refreshing. Ignore the "Imperial" in the title though, and take this as just a damn-good Pils.

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Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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