Notch Session Pils | Notch Brewing

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47 Reviews
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Notch Session PilsNotch Session Pils
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Notch Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Czech style pale lager known as Světlé Výčepní. The 10 plato strength (4% ABV) is the most popular in the Czech Republic, as opposed to the 12 plato strength (5% ABV) that is more familiar in the US. Brewed with European malts, Czech Saaz hops and soft water.

Added by PEBKAC on 03-17-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
208
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
12.85%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
39
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 208
Photo of brentk56
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: The hazy honey colored liquid is topped by an inch of foam; the retention was reasonable and a few shards of lace hang around

Smell: Slightly bready, with just a hint of grass

Taste: Golden-syrup malt flavors buttress the herbal, grassy hop bill; very rustic flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with relatively crisp carbonation

Overall: Well, they got the mouthfeel right, but I am afraid the unusual malt and hop flavors here make this beer rather hard to enjoy

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head covering, over mostly clear golden carrot orange-yellow color.

Nose is very light, some light pilsner malts, light toasty malts, bit of straw and rustic malts, and the slightest hint of noble grassy aromatic hops.

Taste has some light malts, plenty of toasty pilsner malts and a bit of a straw, some light rustic toasty malt flavors, mostly clean and crisp and very light and sessionable, then some light clean bitterness, and some mild noble grassy floral hops, very light hop addition but it goes well to the malts. Finishes very clean, fairly crisp and light but long bitter noble hops.

Mouth is lighter bodied, decent carbonation though.

Overall pretty good, the nose is a bit too light, but taste is good for a 4% very sessionable light summer clean and crisp beer.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a good amount of hops, light caramelized malts, lager yeast and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some citrus sweetness comes in along with a strong but not over-powering hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style since it seems a bit on the sweet and citrusy but this still a good beer to pound down for a while.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at LTK (Legal Test Kitchen) Bar and Kitchen in Boston, MA

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some brighter yellow highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall bright white foamy head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and bready malts with some lighter notes of grassy and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of biscuit and bready malts with little to no sweetness. That is followed by the light to moderate flavors of the grassy and herbal hops which impart a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and smooth.

O: This beer was refreshing, paired great with food, and was extremely easy to drink - I think I could have literally drank this beer all day long (though I am guessing that is the point of creating these session style beers from Notch).

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Photo of smcolw
2.33/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear and golden, this beer has the right look. Huge head for the style which settles quite slowly leaving behind ample amount of chunky lace.

Unusually earthy in smell, definitely not true to style. Almost smell if the wort became infected with a stray bacteria.

The taste is an improvement but this is still off from a Czech Pils. There's no creaminess in the body with the crisp floral bitterness from the noble hops. Instead, this tastes like a poorly made APA: Thin but chewy body with a marginal level of pale malt flavor, moderate hop bite that dies quickly in the aftertaste.

A clear miss on this batch. Perhaps I'll try this again and see if I happened upon a mistake this time.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From 09/15/13 notes. On tap at The Salty Pig in Boston, MA. After a weekend of BA fests a nice change of pace. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat clear bright yellow color with no carbonation evident and one inch maybe of white head. Weird it looks like it has no carbonation, as it was carbonated. Must be the glass.

s - Smells of wheat, grains, bready malts, yeast, light spice, and light citrus hops. Nice little bit of citrus on the end and normal pilsener malts throughout the nose.

t - Tastes of wheat, grains, bready malts, dough, yeast, earthy malts, citrus hops, and floral notes. Little more going on here than the nose but still quite light in the citrus and floral notes. Nice though.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation, though it is there. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice pilsner; exactly what I wanted with lunch outside on a nice day. Easy to drink and some nice floral and citrus notes in the taste, would have it again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a crystal-clear, pale, golden-yellow coloring with a very slow, steady stream of carbonation bubbling. Thin covering of white film that leaves a slick coating along the glass. Aromas are light and effervescent, with a floral boquet along the top of a toasted cereal backbone. Flavors are light, with the toasty backbone and a slightly sour malt highlight, with a bitter, resiny hopping to clean it all up nicely. The aftertaste is minimal, with a hint of roast and char. The finish is quick and clean, leaving the palate with only a touch of the tangy sweetness.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a five+ finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Good carbonation and light bodied. Light grassy nose and flavor is hoppy, grassy with a bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Good lawnmower beer. $1.99 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 13, 2013.

The pour is a typical pilsener looking straw or hay yellow with a long lasting tremendous white foamy head and vigorous carbonation.

The aroma is quite full compared to adjuncts and others in its class with pale malts, biscuit, yeast, sugar in the raw, and a clean hoppiness.

The body is light and smooth.

The taste tends to downplay the sweet malts and biscuit in favor of a notable clean and crisp hop feel coming up the backside. Pretty drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz received in a recent trade with mkabull. Thanks again Alec!

Pours a hazy dark yellowish orange color with pale golden yellow hues when held to a light and a one finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots and streaks of lace left behind.

Earthy aroma with hints of grassy hops, straw, light fruit and pale malt. The floral hops are most prominent followed by some apple, pear and biscuit.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected fr the style with a god balance of grassy and citrus hops, pale malt, straw, hay and light fruit. Surprisingly hop forward but not too bitter or dry with a nice floral, earthy presence which compliments the straw/hay character and pale malt presence. A decent amount of biscuit flavor along with apple, pear and faint alcohol. Slightly dry presence.

Overall this beer was a pleasant surprise. Clean, crisp, well balanced and extremely quaffable. I could see myself drinking several of these in a sitting and would probably buy this regularly if I had access.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another Notch brew thanks to Yamar 18.

This pours a pale gold with a 1 finger head of foam and again for a Notch beer, some very good lacing.

Aromas of spicy herbal hops are at the forefront. I get just a tad of a malt smell...bread? Maybe biscuit?

Wow, another brew with some great balance. Yeah, it's biscuit for the malt profile, the hops are herbal alright, just a nice crisp spiciness that doesn't go over the top. Swishing the beer in my mouth to get the ultimate experience of what a brew has to offer, I'm amazed that THIS is what I get in a 4% abv brew made in the US.

Nice lightish mouthfeel, the drinkability, at least for me, is through the roof.

Yikes, I love this beer!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear honey color. Frothy white head forms. The head is small but retains. Leaves random lacing.

S-Soft nose. Barely any noble hops. Sweet, a bit grainy. Just not very attractive. Boring.

T-Started off with a rather odd flavor that caught me off guard. After the confusing beginning, As it settles on my palate, a more conventional Pils flavor sets in. More noble hops than in the nose. Still sweet and somewhat grainy.

M-Light bodied and lively cartbonation. A tad bit watered down. But no big negatives.

O/D-Just bland. I can see why they named it Session Pils, but I'd prefer both my session beer and my Pilsener to have a bit more personality.

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Photo of tigg924
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: faint pine and grass

Taste: sweet grass, lime, citrus hops, and a bit of sugar at the end

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, sweet start then the hops kick in to make it slightly bitter, the after taste is odd and almost sugary, light bodied

Overall: I wanted to like this beer, but the flavors just did not come together for me. There is an odd sweetness that I associate with Leinenkugels. While it works there in some instances, the sweetness here is a bit out of place. I want to drink this and with some small modifications, I could see this being a regular beer in my rotation...but for now a pass.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. can served in an SA Perfect pint. Pours a hazy straw gold with a sizzling, 1.5 inch bright white head that settles into a sold, quarter inch cap. Nose expresses some grassy notes and noble hops. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's also an interesting trace of caramel malt in the flavor profile - just enough to impart a suggestion of something sweet. Mouthfeel is light in body with a crisp carbonation. Overall, really quite drinkable. Perhaps not as clean as I'm accustomed to for the style, but quite easy drinking and enjoyable.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bukowski’s in Boston.

Pours a clear golden color with a white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of crisp pilsner malts with good amounts of light citrus and floral hops and hints of deeper, leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as crisp. Smooth pilsner malts up front are joined quickly by light citrus and slightly herbal hops. Midway through heavier earthy hops come into play, before they are joined by very slight bready notes that fade out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I was a fan of this beer, and the low ABV is icing on the cake. It’s not quite as clean as the world-class pilsners, but it’s still well worth a shot.

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Photo of cbutova
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh into MA, gotta give it a shot.

A- Poured into a Weizen glass with a hazy yellow orange body. Big white head forms with nice size and a creamy texture. Nice thick rings of lace.

S- Some yeast bread, clove, grains, sugary light malt. Also a bit of noble spicy, herbal hops.

T- A decent bit of yeast bread and spice as well as some light slightly sugary malt. Banana and clove. Hops round it out with herbal, spicy and floral hints. General grains as well.

MF- Light body with high foamy carbonation. Slight residual sweets and bitterness.

Solid light Pils. Nice hops but I would like it to be a bit more hoppy instead of grainy.

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Photo of mynie
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How have I not reviewed this yet?

Notch only does sessionable beers. Regardless of your opinion of session IPAs, you still have to respect other varieties of well-brewed, low-ABV beer.

Notch's pils pours pale, straw-colored with a decent head. The aroma is faint, with a little bit of herbs and hay and the smallest wisp of saaz hops.

Tastes much firmer and more robust than the aroma had led me to believe, but still balanced and delicate. Crisp barley up front with mild herbal nodes and some cereal grain, straight-up Czech pils hop profile in the back end. Quite nice.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Aiming for the Old World rustic version of the Czech lager. Mild haze, but golden color still shines bright in the light. Enough froth for a Pils to be proud of. Fresh-cut crabgrass, wild herbal hop and a dusting of biscuity malt in the nose. Smooth, with a snap of crispness on the backside of the light body. Malt comes forth on the light side with a sticky, biscuity, almost husky flavor throughout. Hops are slightly oily with spicy, herbal undertones; bitterness balances. Biscuity, husky tone lingers. Finish lands dry. Some fine tuning and softening would do this lager great. Hard pressed to put back more than one.

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Photo of Florida9
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow in color. Slightly hazy. Forms a large, fluffy white head that falls rather quickly, but leaves quite a bit of lacing on the way down. Aroma is standard pils: some pilsener malts and a bit of green, grassy hops. Taste is a bit light though, in fairness, this is labeled as a "session" beer. Light pilsener malts, a hint of biscuit, and some light grassy hops. Light bodied. Appreciable, prickly carbonation. Low bitterness.
Not the absolute best example of the style, but not at all a bad beer.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notch Pils pours a clear golden color in the glass with a frothy, white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thin sheet on the glass leaving behind a fair amount of lines and spots of lace on the glass. Inside a flurry of bubbles flow to the surface.

The aroma is faint with grassy hops and crisp toasted malt. There's a hint of lemon in there too.

Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is lightly creamy, soft and moderately carbonated. The flavor begins with grassy hops and notes of lemon citrus. Balancing out the hops is a taste of crisp toasted malt. It finishes sweet with a the grassy hops linger when gone.

This is a very easy drinking tasty beer. Well balanced and with the lower abv you can enjoy several at one sitting.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.99/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

@ Legal Test Kitchen, Boston

Dark gold with a fizzy white head. Thin collar of retention and a glass sans lace. Pauvre glass.

Smells like a dinner roll. Subtle green hops in there and maybe some apricot/orchardy fruit.

Tin-y mineral fruit and butter up front followed by a very pleasing pepper hop finish. Buttery aftertaste that comes back after the swallow like a boomerang.

Eh.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Sunny Holden color with a very slight haze. Three fingers of rocky white head retain superbly in the slender glass. Lacing is clumpy and foamy.

S: Sweet doughy and crackery malt. Clean. Grassy and floral hops. Slight whiff of snappy lemon too.

T: Doughy and crackery malt base. Grain. Hops slice right through with initial floral and grassy flavors that are quickly followed by a strong limey bitterness. Very clean. Crackery and bitter lime finish.

M: Light bodied. Slight creamy feel. Sharp carbonation.

O: Clean, crisp, and drinkable. It hits the marks. A deserving quaff.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of goblinmunkey7. Thanks!

A: Pours a murky, glowing sunset-orange capped by a pinky finger's worth of off-white head. Retention is moderate, with a few drabs of lace down the sides of the glass. A thin film is left for the duration of the drink.

S: Crisp pilsner grain, biscuit malt, and Noble hops: grass and a floral / herbal bent.

T: The taste falls a bit short, with a watery back end that doesn't deliver the same crispness of the nose. A nice biscuit backbone with good hop flavors of grass, mild spice (like white pepper), and a touch of lemon zest.

M: Light-bodied, with a slightly watery finish. Bitterness is mild, with some hop oils lingering into the aftertaste. I'd love it if it were cleaner.

O: With work, this could be excellent. I wish we had easy-drinking session ales like this in CA.

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Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times over the past week - decided on another 6 pack tonight
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a somewhat hazy golden color with a one finger of sudsy, bubbly pure white head. Head recedes somewhat quickly leaving wispy lacing along the glass.

S: Nose is grassy, earthy hop notes, yeast, malt, and a mild citrus note.

T: Taste starts with a strong yeast, lemon citrus quality. Malt flavoring, with some earthy, grassy notes begin to come in. Finish has a continued grassiness, some grain, and a hint of orange peel.

M: Lighter body, higher carbonation, slightly prickly with an oily finish.

O: Goes down very easy, rather tasty, not filling, no kick, nice representation of style. This is a great beer that falls more under the true definition of a "session" beer. It will definitely be a staple come summer time.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foggy yellow in color. Good sized white frothy head. Laced fairly well.

Aroma gives off a little malt husk, hop notes, and yeastiness.

Taste follows the aroma. Noble hops I assume, and the malt almost seems like corn at times, but I think it's deceiving. There's a faint lemon zest found in there, and a little grass. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is a little slick. Drinks smooth rather than crisp, which I didn't expect.

Drinkability is high of course because of the ABV, BUT, the taste plays into the drinkability well too. Just because a beer sports a low ABV doesn't mean it's tasty enough to warrant a few. This satisfies both needs and is worth picking up again for the right occasion...though there are better pilsners...especially if you prefer yours with some snappy crispness.

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Notch Session Pils from Notch Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.
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