Captain James Jack Pilsner | The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

very good
39 Reviews
Captain James Jack PilsnerCaptain James Jack Pilsner

Brewed by:
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Summer - Captain James Jack Pilsner - OMB developed this smooth, refreshing pilsner beer as our salute to the spirit, courage and resolve of Captain Jack and the members of the Mecklenburg Convention (see for more information). A classic northern German "Pils", this straw-colored lager is smooth, with a subtle yet assertive hoppiness that doesn't overwhelm your palate or the beer's malt backbone. A perfect summer refresher.

Added by CBlack85 on 05-12-2011

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 142
Photo of damjadi
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very true-to-style German Pils.

Light body, no chill haze. Beautifully clear.

Light hop and hay aroma.

A real nice euro-hop with a clean finish and good malt backbone.

Good mouthfeel.

Excellent choice for those stuck on this side of the Atlantic!

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Photo of herrburgess
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I hesitated to review this beer for a few days, as my previous reviews of OMB already probably make me look like a company shill...but this Pilsner is so outstanding I had to review it.

Served from the 50 l keg in my kegerator into a pilsner flute.

A: Very pale yellow with that subtle greenish hue you sometimes see in northern German pilsners. Crystal clear with a two-finger head that dissipates but leaves nice lacing all the way down the side of the glass.

S: Light grains, with maybe some graham-cracker hints. The malt is balanced by a spicy note from the hops. Very subtle overall.

T: Sweet pilsner malt backbone followed by a spicy, almost black peppery hop character and a crisp, dry finish. Delicious and, as always with OMB, perfectly balanced.

M: What else can be said about the mouthfeel of Olde Meck's beers? Perfection.

Overall I find this to be one of Olde Meck's strongest offerings. I didn't expect to like it as much as I do, but somehow OMB never fails to exceed my expectations, so I shouldn't be surprised. Perilously drinkable.

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4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Olde Mecklenburg Captain James Jack

A: This 4.8% German Pilsner pours a gorgeous, absolutely radiant gold. It is completely crystal clear. Unfortunately, carbonation is lazy, the completely white head was less than a finger even on a rather hard pour, and the lacing is spotty. 2.75/5

A: Wasting no time in redeeming itself, the aroma is excellent. Lots of spicy, earthy hops that also come off just a little floral, underpinned by fantastic malt complexity, very German in character: honey, sugar cookie, cracker, and rising bread dough. A yeasty sulfuric lager bite rounds it out with a tinge of minerality. It is tough to find any fault in this rich, intense, authentic, tantalizing take on a tough style to get right. 5/5

T: As impressive as the nose, though the hops have taken a little bit of a backseat. In fact, no one aspect really seems to want to take the spotlight. This is an ensemble piece, greater than the sum of its already impressive parts. Unlike many beers that have a distinct beginning, middle, and end on the palate, everything here hits almost simultaneously. Just barely edging everything else out of the gate, honeyed doughy malt leads the way. Hops come through with light lemon but mostly spicy earthiness. Both vying aspects develop a little over time, the maltiness shifting to a drier cracker tone, and the hops becoming grassy and lightly bitter. Finally, that minerality with a little sulfur hits. This is a great example of the style, but German varieties are shockingly actually hoppier, and in the interest of furthering the near-perfect balance, it would be nice to see a little more hopping here. 4.75/5

M: Here is another small slip up, with a slightly watery feel and low carbonation, which is not a good combination on the palate. The dryness is great and spot-on, but the carbonation is so lazy and the feel so watery that it is mostly uninteresting at best and distracting at worst. 3.25/5

O: This is one of the most "tale of two beers" that I have ever encountered. The aroma and flavors are awesome, but the appearance and mouthfeel are shockingly weak by contrast. Of course the former two are most important, but it is a whole product and should be judged as such. The little bit of lacking from the hops is the only flaw in the taste, and this is a pretty fresh bottle (about a month old), so I cannot blame that. That said, this is one of the most authentic tasting and smelling German pilsners I have encountered in the US. I would be more than happy to have this on the shelf here. Pair with Periphery's "Periphery III: Select Difficulty," an album that is musically very impressive but lyrically bankrupt. 4.5/5

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Photo of blivingston1985
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden hay in color. Nice tight eggshell white head. Lovely texture. Pure and clean. Mouthfeel borders on envloping. Finish is nearly perfect. Damn fine pilesner as far as I can tell. Must try if visiting North Carolina. World class in my book.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pokal at around 55 degrees F.

A: Pours a crystal clear, extremely pale yellow,not unlike an overhead projector transparency, and forms several fingers of fizzy, dense white head with fair retention. Bubbles stream continuously and rapidly through this beer.

S: Golden grain and a freshly baked biscuit slathered in a jelly of pear and white grapes, near a garden of goldenrod and honeysuckle.

T: Follows the nose rather closely, opening with floral tones that sail above a base of biscuity malt and light fruits, with just a faint tinge of honey. Grassy tones manifest as the beer moves along the palate, mingling with the flowers to present a somewhat meadowy flavor profile. The finish lingers as a bite of doughy biscuit sprinkled with fresh lawn clippings and flower petals.

M: Light and lively, this is an easy-drinking, crushable beer. Which would be a shame, as one would then miss how the flavor profile changes subtly as it warms.

O: That is a good, tasty pilsner.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #64 (May 2012):

LOOK: Crystal-clear pale gold, three fingers of head

SMELL: Fresh grass, dusty biscuits, spicy herbal hop, very clean, bread crust

TASTE: Deep smoothness, very crisp, clean, biscuity, spicy hop, balanced bitterness, slightly herbal, bready, mild nuttiness, very dry finish

Close to perfection in a style that is nearly impossible to reach. Balanced and easy to knock back, and still shows off some depth. A great example of American craft brewers making amazing lagers that easily rival their European counterparts.

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Photo of twage04
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served at OMB in a nice pilsner glass. Beer is a little fizzy but still close to medium carbonation. Nice sweet grainy aroma and taste is much the same with some floral german hops contributing. There is a great grainy, cracker like taste that you don't often find in pilsners. Overall a very good beer, although I'd probably like a little more hop presence to keep up with the grain.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ive heard so many good things about this beer, and now I finally get to try it! Bottled on Nov. 16.

Nice clear yellow body. Initially, it had a soda pop fizz (hell it even sounded like pop), now theres a shell of the once 3/4 inch bright white head and a small amount carbonation.

Slick, grainy malt dominate the smell. Slight earthy hops and malt round out what is a light, slick, drinkable German Pilsner.

Earthy malt dominates the taste exactly like it should. Earthy, spicy noble hops just come and go intermittently, and i love it. Very slick taste and feel, which nicely balances out the super earthy characteristic from the malt and spicy, herbal hops.

This is a very good German Pilsner, and precisely what Ive come to expect from Olde Mecklenburg. Well done, guys!

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Photo of steveh
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More from the East Coast -- the typical Olde Meck 19 ounce bomber, bottled on 8.21.12.

A -- Pours a brilliant, clear gold with a firm, creamy and long-lasting, off-white head.

S -- Mellow bready malts with light DMS back. Maybe the vaguest of citrus hops in the finish.

T -- Fresh, bready malts up front with a mild tinge of spicy to lightly citrus hops in the middle, finishing with a smooth cracker character and lightly bitter hops in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light body and lightly dry finish.

O -- A very nice brew in a style that's difficult to recreate away from the source. The lingering, but not overpowering bitterness in the aftertaste along with the dry finish -- on top of the great malt breadiness, make this a very nice German-style Pilsner. This is a great, afternoon in the beer garden sort of beer. Nothing vying for your attention but the easy-to-drink characters.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery, served in a mug

The beer pours a clear straw color with a respectable amount of foamy white head. The head slowly recedes leaving behind lots of lacing

The nose is lightly grainy with a nice noble hop aroma. Not as hoppy as some other examples of the style that I have tried, but nicely hoppy in a subtle way. Like most of OMB's offerings there is a lightly bready quality in the nose.

The beer is very refreshing, clean, and crisp. A nice hop profile that is slightly spicy and floral compliments the grainy malt backbone of this easy to drink light bodied beer. There is a slight tingle of carbination on the tounge. This has the right mixture of flavors and is easy enough to drink that it keeps me coming back for more.

This is a great example of the style, and reflects OMB's commitment to excellence.

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Photo of peabody81
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impressive offering from one of my hometown breweries. Their flagship Copper has slowly grown on me since my first "meh" reaction to it. I was in my neighborhood pizza joint, saw the tap handle, knew they introduced this the other night when the Alstrom bros were in town, but what sold me to try it was when someone asked the bartender what kind of beer it was and he said "it's a pretty stout pilsner, it's got lots of hops". Hit me, I sez to the waitress.

Excellent lacing for a pilsner, very nice hops, more than Sam Adams Noble Pils, maybe even more than Victory Prima Pils, almost veering into IPA territory. Highly recommended, one of the best pilsners I've ever had.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, I admit, I'm friends with the employees and owner of Olde Meck... but this really is a superior Pilsner.

REAL Pilsner--in the brewer world--really is, as a large American-originated (but now foreign owned) brewery calls it's caricature of it, "the champagne of beers." Unlike that excuse of a beer...a solid good the ultimate of the brewer's art.

For some reason...the American craft-beer revolution--has been all about EXTREMES. Extremely hoppy...extremely dark....extremely (imperially) stout... Whatever the style is, craft-brewers in the USA, HAVE to be over the top....

Even the big guys, AB/Miller/Coors/PBR etc. are EXTREMELY...bland, mild & tasteless.

TRUE Pilsner, however, as the Germans & Czechs invented extremely...refined, balanced...and un-extreme. Hence the irony, how in the world does one become EXTREME in perfection?

Enough philosophy: This beer is an EXCELLENT example--in AMERICA no less...of what German & Czech tastes consider the finest permutation of beer.

It is incredibly well balanced--one can simultaneously taste the noble hops and the fine German malt--and has a terrific aroma, and light bread aftertaste. Drinking this beer is a trip to Germany.

If you DON'T like it (and many craft-beer aficionados have a hop-&-other-extremes-burned-out palate....)--than you really should consider yourself NOT one who understands fine beer, period.


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Photo of gopens44
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This thing is exactly what I had hoped. See, the trade was initiated by a conversation over well crafted Pilsners, where I was offered a chance to check this one out.

Looks spot on for what I thought it would be, as it is crystal clear yellow with active bubbling up to a big, frothy, white head. Lacing is artful but not overwhelming.

Nose offers the crisp noble hops that I expected as well with a touch of spice and floral "ness" in great balance.

Taste is just terrific with a nice biscuity opening that widens into pear before fading off into a peppery bitterness. I am really digging this!

Finishes off slightly on the "wetter" side of dry with nothing cloying or astringent. Just crisp and succinct on exit.

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Photo of GlassOfHops
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw in color. Light grassy/bready nose. Clean and light with the desired smooth yet crisp mouthfeel. Diggin it though I think its a little light for my taste, which may be more traditional, but I'd prefer a Prima Pils.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 05/18

The beer pours a crystal clear yellow with no head. No lacing and no head. The nose is a slightly fruity with lots of sweetness from the malt. It's a very drinkable lager with no spice and reserved sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly fruity and fades very quickly. It's exactly what I expected and much better served fresh.

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Photo of n2185
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear yellow with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: pilsner and crstal malts on the nose with sweet bread and biscuit aromas. Slight piny hop aromas well.

T: pilsner malts with sweet breads and biscuity flavors. Piny hop flavors bring up a clean finish.

M: light body with medium carbonation, this beer is light, crisp, and refreshing.

O: a good pilsner overall. Clean, tasty, and refreshing.

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Photo of Mojo
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber -> Grand Teton snifter

A - very crystal clear medium gold with a small head, a small retention ring and no real lacing to speak of.

S - very subtle on the nose, mostly floral

T - very smooth easy to drink. Kind of bready with a mild bitter finish

M - medium thick, with no real aftertaste, not as much carbonation as I would have liked.

O - nothing not to like about this beer, but it doesn't blow you away with awesomeness either. But it is a perfect summer beer, light, refreshing and tasty.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in a Pils glass. Pour a clear gold, with a sudsy bright-white cap that leaves back a healthy amount of rich lacing down the sides. Smells fresh, leafy and spicy, with a zesty citrus presence that is mostly lemon. The taste has a tight and zesty citric bitterness that zips the tongue. An equally tight malt backbone works with that citrus, giving this tanginess across the back. Spice lingers in the finish. The feel is medium and lively in the mouth with a fair amount of sharpness to the carbonation. I think that the hoppiness of this style of Pils holds back the overall drinkability of this for me a bit but there is no doubt that this is extremely well made for what it is. Another very solid beer here from the OMB.

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Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev +2%

Another win for this brewery that is located in my state. I think this is a perfect example of what a pilsner should taste like. Its isn't pretentious it is what it is, but it is done well. My only complaint as is the case a great deal of the time with craft breweries who make this style of beer is its on the pricey side. You can get a very similar beer in the macro world for a quarter of the price or at least a third. Nevertheless, this is a nicely balanced beer.

Malty, clear, crisp, with just the right amount of hops to balance everything out. This is a very enjoyable beer. I will buy it again, more than anything to convert more friends to this great world in which we live. There is more out there than just the macro's and guys like these tend to do it better.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy goldenstraw color that is capped by a modest pearly white head; squiggles of lacing

Smell: Bready, but slightly sweet; grassy tones throughout

Taste: Bready and biscuity in the malts with just a bit of lingering sweetness; the grassy hops add balance but are a notch weaker than the malts

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Though I bought my bottle recently I now see it was brewed back in November; a fresher one might have a better hop profile; still, quite good

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Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - cloudy straw color with white head

Smell - lemon rind, hint of honey

Taste - grassy, lemon rind, slight bit of honey sweetness

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight bitterness upfront,crisp, clean, bready finish

Overall - good pilsner that is refreshing and is crisp & clean.

22 oz bottle

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Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Carolina Beer Company, Charlotte Airport Terminal D

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin bright white head that died down and left a patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderae aromas of bready and cracker malts are present in the nose along with faint hints of floral hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a bit malty and a little sweet. The cracker malts stand out in particular. Hints of yeast and spices are present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice pilsner. The cracker malts make it unique when compared to the bready malt flavors that dominate the style.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear gold, with a one finger white head that moves to a thin lace, with good lace retention on the side of the glass. Smell is of floral hops and bread. The taste is right in line, with a slightly bitter zest finish. The feel is medium, at times almost creamy, with the carbonation coming in a scoche below medium. Overal, a tasty Pilsner from one of Charlotte's best breweries.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bomber into a tulip. 8/6/13 bottling date.

Pours a crisp light golden color with a nice inch and half white head. Refreshing, crisp, smooth aroma with a touch of lemon zest and malts. Taste is true to style with a good amount of sweet citrus mixed with bready malts and noble hops. Lemon grass, floral. Refreshing. Just a real easy drinking pils. Light bodied, mild carbonation.

OMB never disappoints and this is no exception. Recommended.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear pale to medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some faint hints of straw yellow. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bready and cracker malts with light aromas of floral hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of bready and cracker malts with some light to moderate amounts of sweetness, almost like from a corn adjunct. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of floral hops and just a hint of spicy hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Clean and crisp.

O: A nice example of a classic pilsner - another very good German beer from Olde Mecklenburg as I have come to expect. Very enjoyable and easy to drink with well hidden alcohol. Definitely one to grab again, especially in the warm summer.

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Captain James Jack Pilsner from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
3.92 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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