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Notch Session Pils | Notch Brewing

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BA SCORE
82
good
47 Reviews
THE BROS
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Notch Session PilsNotch Session Pils
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Notch Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
notchbrewing.com

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:
212
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
27.09%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
40
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 212
Photo of u2carew
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a big white head that keeps its retention quite well. Clear body, golden to straw in color.
S) Musky grains. Subtle hints of citrus fruit.
T) Sweet yet bitter grains. Some fruity notes - apples. Some astringent notes. Bitter dry finish.
M) Light body. Dry finish.
O) Overall an average pilsner, just a bit more bitter than the norm.

 366 characters

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a nice white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is actually quite nice. As soon as I poured it I could smell a bit of hops even before I lifted it to my nose. Upon smelling it I get a decent amount of hops followed by a grain smell and slight lemon zest aroma on the finish.

T: The taste is a bit different from the nose. There's a bit of hops followed by some grainy/bready quality with a hint of lemon on the finish. Typical pilsener flavors.

M: The feel is crisp and refreshing and the low ABV makes this a super easy drinker.

O: Good flavors and low ABV make this a good candidate for an every night Pilsener if that's what you're looking for. It was interesting drinking a 4% beer that had this much flavor.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

The color is a gold/yellow with some cloudy orange tint. There is about two fingers of foamy white head white a slight bit of lacing left on the glass.

The color is a little hoppy at first with slightly dry malt straightening the edges out. There is a small grassy flavor toward the end that puts a final signature to the end flavor of this beer.

The feel of this beer is highly drinkable with no alcohol detectable. There is a smooth but light feel that makes this beer go down quicker then it seams at first. A really good session beer.

 597 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mildly hazy gold with a huge pure cloud white head that quickly recedes to a thin film and laces decently.

aroma of herbal and floral hops on top of biscuity malts, pretty much what I'd expect for the style.

black tea, slight musk, floral hops, biscuity malts, a bit bitter, but not overly flavorful. a bitter aftertaste lingers.

light bodied and slightly oily feel with subtle prickly carbonation.

its not bad, but not something I could drink all day, either, which was the intent, so it misses its mark. though its a decent beer, it misses its intent.

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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 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.

 729 characters

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 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.

 661 characters

Photo of jneiswender
2.16/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

had this beer at the Bacon and Beer festival in Boston. Served cool, on tap, in a small tasting glass.

Fairly run of the mill appearance to this brew. Clear gold body , nice white head.

Scent and flavors were not hoppy some vegetable was detected.

Light mouthfeel.

Not clean enough of a beer for the style. I will pass on this the next time I see it.

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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 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 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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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 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.

 748 characters

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

Always on the lookout for tasty, full-bodied, low-ABV beer, I recently dragged home a bottle of Notch's session ale and this bottle of their pils. After trying the ale and being totally underwhelmed by it, I was prepared for more of same from the pils but was happily surprised. This was not the hop-heavy swipe that I expected but instead was quite tasty and balanced. The aroma is a bit light, but it still emitted a good handful of flowers and a lemon peel or two. Light and flavorful, this is definitely a beer for the summer. I'm not one to drink beer and then operate machinery of any kind, especially the kind with whirring blades, but if I had to choose a lawnmower beer this would rate at the top of the safety list.

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

Pours a pale, clear yellow with a frothy white head. Very clear beer. Aroma is of grainy pilsner malts, grassy hops, Flavor is very hoppy (grassy, earthy, not very citrusy), biscuit malts, and dry. Very little sweetness. Good representation of the style. Bubbly on the tongue with a sharp prickly carbonation.

Overall, a good beer. Will buy again.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice extra thrown in by my trading buddy up in Beantown.

Ommegang Anniversary glass. Still pretty chilly.

Big, lumpy, textured white head. Clear, classic amber body. Wiry waves of lace.

Smell is green & herbal. Hops seem a tad sharp. Very dry biscuit malt & noticeable alcohol. Almost a notion of fruit as it warms, but no. :P

Bittergreen, leafy, & a touch iron-y. A bit sharp. Sizable amount of hops used. Malt is cracker dry with barely any sweetness. I would of enjoyed a little more of a grain profile personally.

Frothy, but not all that carbonated. Still pretty crispy because it's so fresh. Alcohol seems slightly bigger then the paltry 4% stated. Feels more acidic then your standard American brewed Pils.

Pretty clean for a contract brew. Shouldn't be surprised, because Ipswich makes good beer.

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Notch Session Pils from Notch Brewing
3.58 out of 5 based on 212 ratings.
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