Sudwerk Imperial Pilsner | Sudwerk Brewing Company

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Sudwerk Imperial PilsnerSudwerk Imperial Pilsner
30 Ratings
Sudwerk Imperial PilsnerSudwerk Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Sudwerk Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Halcyondays on 05-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by TheRealBigC:
Photo of TheRealBigC
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this imperial pilsener actually has some bite to it. The alcohol is just enough to sting a little bit. It's not overly malty, nor overly hoppy. It's a wonderful balance of both. I also noticed that the smell on this one is stronger than the average pilsener. That spicy, somewhat citric property is easily detected. Nothing fancy, but an excellent example of this style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jgrody
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured minimal head on a hazy medium straw colored body.
It smells like a barnyard and wet hay, though in the best way.
The taste is big malt bill tempered by some lemon bitterness; fairly sweet overall.
A soft texture with some crispness and low carbonation.
It's full bodied and good.

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Photo of russpowell
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of bcm119
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale straw color, good clarity, fine white head that fizzles pretty quickly. Light grainy aroma with some lemony hops. The beer opens with a punchy burst of leafy, noble hops, but the amped up pils malt base carries it with ease. The malt lends a nice touch of dry grain flavor and a little honey sweetness towards the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly oily and coats the palate with zesty hops; a little soft for a pilsner. Spot-on pils in flavor, just a little hopped up and stronger. A good beer in terms of execution, but I'd rather drink a regular pilsner.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean golden yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, malty lager like with a hint of pilsner hops. In the taste, just like the aroma, malty lager and a hint of hops. A hop bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry to clean aftertaste. More lager than pilsner, hides alcohol, and the first imperial pilsner/ lager that I really liked.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served into a transparent hard plastic cup at my friend's gaff in Palo Alto, California. Acquired at a local BevMo. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and good retention. Colour is a nontransparent/opaque yellow.

Sm: Clean barley. Some hops. Maybe some lemon. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Lemon and barley. Simple and not as hoppy as expected. Balanced but a bit bland.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. Enjoyable. I might try it on draught, but otherwise it's largely forgettable.


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Photo of sevenshubby
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of elos
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mactrail
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly strong beer with lager flavors.

Nice pale golden color in the glass. Head not very enthusiastic. Surprisingly rich with woody vanilla flavors, like a touch of oak. Hops are not assertive but the overall effect is decently balanced.

Reminds me of a Maibock style with restrained hops and strong, sweet flavors. Quite drinkable and pleasant. At the Blind Lady Ale House in San Diego.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Back in the mid to late nineties, when I lived in the Central Valley of California, I took monthly beer runs up to the Bay Area or Sacramento. Occasionally on those Sacramento runs, I would head up to Davis, and drop by Sudwerk for a sausage plate and a glass or two of their lagers. I hadn't thought of them for quite awhile, when I stumbled across a few bombers of this one in San Diego.

Poured a pale golden color with a good white head. If the bottle didn't say anything, I wouldn't have known this was an Imperial Pilsner. Nothing much to say here, just a standard, run of the mill craft pilsner. At least the sausage was good.

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Photo of litheum94
3.01/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 3/21/12.

Pale golden body, so clear you can read through it. Thick, bone white head that settles to a thin cover. Nice lacing. A good looking beer.

Can you say Noble hops? Dry and grassy, with some spice. Faint fruit and some corn husk.

Very dry, cracker malts, with a faint fruitiness. Spicy and grassy hops. Long lasting bitterness. Leaves a woody hop flavor in the mouth.

This is ok. It tastes like a regular pilsner to me, with a touch more hop bitterness. I was hoping for more, since the other two Imp Pilsners I've had (Uinta and FFF) were fantastic.

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Photo of Klym
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First in another session with Cavery.

A: Like a CGI-altered beer commercial, pours a clean and enchanting light gold with a head like the beer is celebrating something.

S: Smells of pine, honey and malt; decently aromatic for an imperial pils.

T: Taste is much like the smell, though I'd say a little bitterness comes through though largely masked by the malt. If I had to try to replicate the flavor, I might be tempted to lightly lather a bamboo chute with a little honey and sprinkle some pine on it (sounds weird, I know); a little bitter, a little sweet, a little earthy, but almost all the flavors subdued and a little shy. Really a good flavor for an imperial pils.

M: Even for a pils, seems to drink a bit thin. I would've enjoyed stronger carbonation as well, but I'm not sure that's not more of just what I wish instead of what it should be.

O: Solid imperial pils. Tried this on tap at the brewery and reviewed this from a bottle I had, it was largely the same as I remembered. If pilsners are your thing, I'd say it's worth checking this one out.

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Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly cloudy (for a pilsner) golden honey color; the frothy eqg white head was raised only with a hard pour and left a few dots behind

Smell: Somewhat grainy, but the sweet malt really comes through, dominating the grassy hop elements

Taste: Sweet malt, up front, with bready undertones; by mid-palate, the grassy hops provide some balance but they take a back seat, after the swallow, to the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation (rather low for the style)

Overall: Imperial Pilsners tend to be sweeter than I would like and this one is no exception; I would like to have seen a bit more hop to balance out the sweeter elements and the mouthfeel was way off the refreshing effervescence I look for from all Pilsners, imperial or otherwise

Thanks, PretzelCity, for the opportunity

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Photo of RangnaR
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of aknight
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a golden yellow like you would expect from a pilsner. The smell is a sweet, malty cereal type smell. The taste is very malt forward with enough hop bite to keep things interesting. The malt definitely dominates the palate but there are enough hops in here to be noticeable and enjoyable. The mout feel is a little syrupy probably owing to what is pretty mild carbonation for this style of beer. This is definitely a drinkable beer. I don't think I would want to session this beer but it would be enjoyable with a meal, maybe a lighter fish.

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Photo of Pilvi
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I do love a good pilsener, and an imperial one... well, perhaps not more so, but if they sock me in the mouth with extra pilsener characteristics, I'm not going to complain. Let's see how this one goes.

Pours a very light and very clear golden yellow colour, with an initially frothy head of foam, which settles to a white film on the top, that surprisingly doesn't leave much lacing. Body looks quite light for a 7% brew, but it looks decent enough. Genuinely looks like a pilsener at least.

Nose is a little funky, sweaty with a slight corny twang to it, but it's mollified a little by some decent fresh hop notes which give a slight fruit character. Missing a little sharpness for a pilsener, but not bad.

Taste is light, but pleasant enough. Some sharpness on the front with a slight lemon zest character, before a rather lengthy back palate that is drawn out because of quite a sharp alcohol hit on the back. It's not a bad character, but it's the only sign of the "imperial" in the name, and the other flavours aren't accentuated reciprocally. Feel is extremely light, which is expected, I guess.

It's a reasonably well done pilsener, but not a particularly well done imperial pilsener. The harsh alcohol is too prominent, and is the only thing which delineates this one from its non-imperial brethren. Needs something more, and it doesn't have it.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into pilsner glass; a deep yellow corn color--crystal clear--with 1-cm head that dissipates without leaving much lace.

N: Smells of light biscuit with a hop citrus--not an overwhelmingly strong nose.

T/M: Creamy, crisp bitter, butter biscuit flavor with a touch of orange citrus that settles firmly at the back of the tongue reminding the drinker, "While this is a Pilsner, it is still an Imperial Pilsner." Not overly carbonated, but enough to keep it feeling light in the mouth.
As the beer warms up a bit, the alcohol becomes slightly more noticeable behind the bitter butter-biscuit flavor; However, the beer remains very easy to drink and is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

This is a great style of brew; it is much more rich than a typical pils or helles, but it definitely was a full bodied rendition of a classic Bohemian recipe.

I certainly expected it to be a bit hoppier (think, light-bodied, IP-Lager), but was not disappointed.

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

I got this as part of the tickers BIF. The pour is hazy yellow with a big, fizzy white head that stuck around for a while, nice lacing. The aroma is bready, bisquity. The flavors are typical pilsner, biquity with a clean crisp finish, nice hoppy profile. The beer is light with good carbonation. A good impy pilsner, increased abv without changing pilsner qualities.

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Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a pale yellow, with a fizzy white head, good head retention and some lace.

S: Grass & pine, very hoppy.

T: Sweet malt, almost corn like initially with a powerful orange/grapefruit hop attack.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, good long aftertaste.

D: Sudwerk is the preeminent lager brewer in CA, and I quite like this Impy Pils. Not a complete showcase for hops, relatively balance for the style, one of the better beers I've had this month, good lagerbier.

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Photo of Sarmartay
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

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Sudwerk Imperial Pilsner from Sudwerk Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 30 ratings