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Blue Paddle Pilsener | New Belgium Brewing

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Blue Paddle PilsenerBlue Paddle Pilsener

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 07-18-2001

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Reviews: 421 | Ratings: 1,331
Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz glass, at the New Belgium debut party in Alberta, at the Craft Beer Market in Calgary - I've arrived right on time, and it's already getting packed in here!

This beer pours a pale golden amber colour, with one finger of thinly foamy and puffy off-white head, which leaves a nice layered strata of weeping lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of mildly crisp and grainy pale malt, dry lemon, and somewhat metallic earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is lightly funky leafy and grassy hops, gritty pale malt, a touch of crispy cracker, stale lemon, and a stony flintiness.

The carbonation is a bit tight at times, but mostly just wanly frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit edgy in its smoothness. It finishes on the dry side, still kind of zingy from the obvious noble hops.

An adequate and capable old-school pilsener, a bit soft around the edges, yet more or less drinkable, and duly thirst-quenching. A pleasant start to this cornucopia of a beer experience I have ahead of me this evening.

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Photo of ppvora
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label on this beer says Pilsner/Lager. I guess there is such a thing as a combination of Pilsner and Lager.

Appearance: Golden hue, very slight copper tones. Half a finger of head, good aeration dissipates quickly.

Aroma: Malty with some sweet melon tones.

Taste: Barley, some very subtle hops. No sweetness despite the sweet melon aroma. Very straight barley taste, no complexity.

Mouthfeel: Nothing significant to report.

Overall: OK, not sure that I would buy another 6-pack of this one.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours a very nice white and foamy head that lasts quite a while. Beer itself is a nice pale gold color.

Beer smell is a nice sweet malt with slight bitterness to it.

Taste resembles the smell but with a stronger hop bite. Still not very hoppy and a bit metallic.

Feel is a bit heavy with nice carbonation. Smooth.

A decent pilsner.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best before 12/15/2013; poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass.

Aureolin and citrine intermix to color the clear body, shot through with a dizzyingly active stream of bubbles making their way to the surface to feed the active but lasting half finger of foam up top. Delicate sticky lacing, good retention.

Aromatics are subtle and complex, becoming more of the latter as the lager warms up a bit. The hops certainly contribute a mild floral/grassy/spicy note but the array of malts add their own distinctive qualities which are difficult to dissect. The dusty, mildly toasty scent that New Belgium describes as "lit match" is unique and not unpleasant.

Faint apple and tart grain elements introduce the flavor profile which is offset by a moderate clean bitterness. If I had to guess, I'd suspect the Target hops were used for bittering where as the Saaz and Liberty contribute most of the flavor/aroma. The finish evolves slowly from an increasingly peppery/herbal quality to a rounder stale bread note.

Light bodied, well carbonated...

A clean, well lagered beer over-all. I'm tempted to say something about the strange contrast between the excellence of New Belgium's American and now Bohemian styles and the general mediocrity of their Belgian style offerings, but that's beyond the scope of this review...

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, golden colored with a nice white head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: toasty biscuit, pale malt, slight hops

T: slightly sweet up front, hops then appear showing bitterness, crisp, clean, dry at the end

M: thinner with high carbonation

O: nice bitterness for a Pilsener, uncomplex, refreshing

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Photo of constantine_272
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden pale yellow with white head. Highly carbonated leaving a good thin foam layer that persists and makes sticky rings on the glass. Looks thin and pale, but I like the carbonated look.

S: Wheat and bread grain. Reminiscent of spent steeping grain. Touch of alcohol and yeast. Smells warm like nutmeg. A touch of metallic on the nose. Smells good mostly but there's not much depth.

T: Better than I expected. A tiny touch of sweetness kicks in at the beginning, but it quickly turns crisp and slightly tangy. A flavor of dried leaves builds and is followed by light mineral and copper flavor that hits the back of the tongue.

M: Refreshing, except for the mineral aftertaste that finishes long. Not so thin like other lagers. There's enough there to keep you aware there's a good amount of ingredients present.

O: I often detect mineral notes in lagers and count it against the experience, but here I don't mind it. It's a bit more subtle and balanced by other qualities and a good crispness. Overall one of the better lagers I've had. The pieces on their own aren't anything to brag about, but put together it turns into a great hot weather session beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean and clear light golden yellow with high carbonation.

Toast and slight noble hop aroma.

Toasted biscuits, clean aftertaste.

Light-bodied, high carbonation.

Overall, a crisp and light refreshing pilsener.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with a freshness date. The side blurb is incomprehensible marketing gibberish, so it loses points for that.

Clear, golden, good looking beer beer. Smell is sweet creamy wheat and hard water. Light, creamy, sweet, with a dull bitter finish.

Decently hopped, just not especially tasty. In a can, I would like this for boating or camping.

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Photo of gpogo
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear golden yellow body with a small white head. No lacing.

A- Pale crisp pilsner malt. Grassy herbal hop notes.

T- Pleasant bitterness throughout. Light crisp pilsner malt flavor. Dry finish. A bit on the hoppier side.

M- Light body, moderate carbonation. Crisp and enjoyable.

D- Pleasant warm day beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well within best by (November). Poured into pilsner glass.
Tight aroma and more soft pils malt than anything.
Very attractive looking beer with big full head and lots of sticky lacing. Pale straw, very clear.
Bready, nutty and grainy malt flavors, soft bittering that lasts through the finish once it starts. No hop intensity - more blended than contrasting.
Nice soft feel and appropriate carbonation.
Boy this drinks nicely and easily. Not as robust as some, but a nice drinker on a summer evening.

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Photo of Florida9
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear gold in color. Forms a moderate sized white head. Good retention, though it eventually falls to a stable surface coating and a large ring around the edge. Lots of lacing.

S: Aroma is about what is to be expected, some lighter pale malts, some pilsner malt, and a moderate dose of grassy/herbal noble hops.

T: Taste is more of the same. Light pale malt, some pilsner to keep things interesting, and then some light herbal noble hops. However, the beer does seem to finish a bit watery.

M: On the lighter side of things, but with more body than your average American brew. Mild bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Mildly dry.

O: As with many New Belgium beers, I get the impression this one is brewed for the cross-over drinker and, while it is clearly a step up from the American Adjunct Lager, it is also clearly brewed with a heavy dose of restraint. Certainly drinkable, but nothing too exciting either.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium Summer variety box (2013) at my local Von's grocery on Sunday. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; New Belgium tends to churn out underwhelming seasonals (with the definite exception of their winter variety box) and piss-poor bombers (Lips of Faith). "Pilsner Lager." Nothing on the bottle suggests it's a Czech pilsener rather than a German pilsener. Best before November 2013. 4.8% ABV confirmed. Serve at 3 degrees Celsius. I always like their simple label art and colorful designs. Bottle cap is branded with a red and orange motif.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of white/beige colour. No real creaminess. Okay thickness; it's kind of thin, actually. No lacing. Pretty decent (~3 minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest so that shouldn't be difficult to execute. Hm. Head could use some honing. No bubble show. No "legs."

Body colour is a clear translucent yellow. No yeast particles are visible.

Typical of a German pilsner. Not looking fantastic, but it's passable. No overt flaws, though the head does disappoint. Below average vibrance but I wouldn't call it dull.

Sm: Straw/hay. Saaz and noble hops. It's actually surprisingly hoppy for the style. Clean barley. Sweetgrass. Grainy. Cereals. Lightly fruity, a biteen of lemon/lemongrass does sneak in. Lightly estery. A misty aroma of surprisingly respectably quality for the style; maybe this won't be as underwhelming as I thought. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T/Mf: Straw/hay, pilsner malts, clean barley, and overdone saaz and noble hops. Not much going on here. Sweet grassiness with some light lemongrass and accompanying esters. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Some light floral character. Simple and underwhelming; little complexity or subtlety here.

To sweet for the style. I wouldn't call it flavorful.

It's crisp and clean. Smooth, but somewhat dry as well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Okay thickness; probably too thick considering the style. Doesn't feel at all custom-tailored to the flavour profile, but it's passable.

Not buttery, oily, harsh, biting, or refreshing.

Dr: Downable but mediocre. Another mundane effort from New Belgium. I wouldn't get it again, but for the price you could do worse for a czech pilsener. I'm happy to finish the bottles from the variety box, but there's just nothing interesting enough to bring me back. Feels careless and lazy. Not recommended. Very average indeed.


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Photo of Murrhey
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger creamy white head with tiny bubbles and creamy lacing. Head lasts a while, eating down in the middle first. Amber color with high clarity, a bit of an anomaly for the Pilsners I'm used to seeing. Not a bad looking beer.

S- Some peppercorns, honey, fresh-cut grass. Nicely aromatic, but like most light lagers of its type, not complex or rich.

T- Sweet honeyed malts, some crispness from Czech (maybe) hops. A very refreshing flavor.

M- Creamy and wet feel at first with a crisp bite from the hops and carbonation. Finished slightly bitter and dry.

O- Is this a great beer? No. But a refreshing one that feels right considering it is 80 degrees outside.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured a clear golden color with fantastic clarity and great foaming.

There’s a light but sharp aroma that’s equal parts lemony and grassy, with a hint of toast hidden in the back. The flavor is light and crisp, with the touch of lemon and grass on it. It’s lightly bitter but just enough to give it some character, with a nice finish, I liked this one more than I had expected to.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey colored and nearly translucent. Lots of visible effervescence and a one finger cap of off-white foam.

Aroma: Pilsen grain right of the bat. An earthy suggestion of hops. Not too much there but clean.

Taste: New Belgium tends to stay pretty much within style guidelines with their offerings and Blue Paddle Pilsner is no exception. Starting with a light hop bitterness and transitioning into a crackery/grainy malt blend, while striking a refreshing balance, this is a beer that delivers what is expected. The finish is decently crisp and there is a light lingering bitterness. Although it is difficult to truly impress my palate with a Pilsener, this one definitely comes close. At 4.8% ABV it is right near that sessioning range.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with lots of carbonation as is usual for the style. Easily drinkable and refreshing.

Final Thoughts: A well made Pilsner that will probably impress your BMC friends. As a hop head I'd love to see a version of this beer that uses the same malt base with some West Coast hops. That would be a beer that could turn some heads. For now though, Blue Paddle is a drinker-friendly and enjoyable take on a classic. Would I drink it again? Sure.

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Photo of Kromes
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a nice looking beer...clear gold color with a thick white head that leaves laces down the glass. It smells like a typical pilsner, sweet honey malts with a touch of herbal hop. Maybe a little waxy in the aroma. The spicy hop jumps out at first with grassy flavor and then the beer finishes with some grassy and floral hop and sweet malt. Finish has a nice spicy bitter bite. Overall a good pilsner.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Hotel glass (half pint, half snifter)
From: Wilbur’s Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colo.
Price: Part of a variety 6-pack for $9.99
Purchased: May 2, 2013
Consumed: May 2, 2013
Misc.: Best by Sept. 8, 2013

Poured a golden yellow color with one finger of frothy white head. Lots of bubbles underneath. Lots of foamy lacing on the sides. Very good retention on the tops on the way down.

Smelled a weird mix of blueberry and shit to start. Not a good start. Some bread, hay, corn and cereal were involved, but the skunky poop malt kept hanging around.

Tasted no poop, so that was good. Pretty plain though, with some light noble corn hops. Still grassy and grainy.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Just wasn’t a fan of this beer. Would never try it again.

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Photo of spoony
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (best by May 12, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-A normal pour produces a healthy, shiny, white head that is nearly two fingers tall. The brew is light golden in color, clear, with a decent show of carbonation.

S-Not much happening here. There is a faint hop twang, very light lemon, some doughy malt.

T-The taste is a lot like the smell, i.e., very mild hops, a little bit of toasted white bread, some straw, and barely-there lemon.

M-The feel is very light, crisp, with a bubbly carbonation. Chuggable.

O-This is a good looking beer, but there are certainly better-tasting Pils out there. This one errs on the side of light and refreshing (maybe a good pool beer/golf beer), but even assuming that light and refreshing was the goal, I could use a little more taste and body here.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and slight grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is quite drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of beergoot
3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I would call the appearance 'superior': crystal clear and golden with one of the best looking frothy, creamy, white heads I've seen on a beer. Spot-on aroma comes across with a distinct yet subtle combination of malt and hop bitterness that is nothing but inviting. The taste focuses on on the malts with light, delicate grains at the fore; hop bitterness is faint yet well-suited to the malt character. The mouthfeel is light, crisp, clean, and dry.

For some reason, I've always shied away from New Belgium beers with the exception of their 1554 black ale. And that prejudice has been to my detriment. Based on this sampling, this pilsner is one of the best I've experienced in a long time. The beer is nothing but clean, sweet, and delicate with plenty of lager character. Well-balanced with a pleasant, subtle complexity that is nothing but enjoyable from every angle. I will be coming back to this one...

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Czech style Pilsener from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear golden color, produced a nice off white head, nice retention and lacing. The aroma consisted of pale malt and citrus. Light in body, base of sweet malted grain, floral hops and lemon citrus. Overall, this is a easy drinking beer, nice session beer, not very complex but it's worth a try.

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Photo of scratch69
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appearance- Clear golden-yellow color with two fingers worth of lingering head. Fair amounts of sticky lacing.

Smell- Faint aroma of grain and grassy hops.

Taste- Lightly toasted grain and nutty flavors with hints of herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied and very crisp. Average amount of carbonation.

Overall- A fairly standard pilsener. I can see myself enjoying a few of these while grilling some burgers.

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Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, with a big, creamy off white head, that leaves tons of lacing as the beer passes through the glass. Aromas of of freshly cut grass. Taste is a citrus peel beginning, followed by some light crackers, then an herbal, zesty bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a nice pilsner, easy drinking, but not dumbed down.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden with a nice sticky white head. Lots of bubbles

S-crisp grains with a nice hint if light honey. Fair strength

T-comes in with a great grassy bitterness along with a nutty grain flavor, almost reminds me of Cheerios. I like it! It's actually full of bold and quality flavors. There's a good matching after-taste.

M-medium carbonation with a nice crisp finish

O-I bought a 6 pack of this with out ever having it before. I'm glad I did! It's very tasty! It's a quality lager! I really don't know what else to say besides go out and try this please! It's one of the best pilsners I've ever had.

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

Pours out clear like any other pilsner. Clear with a golden hue. The aroma of the noble hops emerges out as the most pungent aroma. This beer goes down smooth and the clears. There is only a light and slight bitternes to this beer. Very good american interpurtation of a Czech Pilsner where most american craft beers are going for fruitful beers.

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Blue Paddle Pilsener from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 1,331 ratings.
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