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Notch Session Pils | Notch Brewing

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47 Reviews
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Notch Session PilsNotch Session Pils

Brewed by:
Notch Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

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

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 210
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.

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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.

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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 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 MadScientist
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: A light, bready malt with some Pilsner malt quality and a moderately-low spicy hops aroma. A slightly fruit ester.

Appearance: A light golden beer with excellent clarity. Pours with a finger of off-white foam made of fine bubbles. The head is persistent, slow to fade and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Flavor: A slight malt sweetness with a fair amount of Pilsner malt character. A low hop flavor that is mostly spicy with some floral notes and a medium-low hop bitterness. The balance is somewhat bitter with a roundness that seems to come from a faint diacetyl caramel flavor. The finish is medium dry with a spicy, low hop bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A medium-light bodied beer with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: This is an easy drinking, session Pils with propionate Czech character. An excellent example of the Czech Light Lager style, it does have a ton flavor but it wasn't meant to.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The color is light straw with a bit of haze. There is a half inch white foamy head. This looks close to excellent.

The aroma is full of grassy hops almost entirely. Very inviting.

The taste is light on the malt flavor; this is pretty hoppy for the style. That's fine by me so I'm apt to score this favorably but purists take note. The hop flavor is zesty and grassy, as European style hops are. The finish is quite crisp, making this very refreshing.

This is light bodied and highly drinkable. I recommend this one for people who like balanced and drinkable hop flavor. I would prefer this to a light IPA for example.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - served on tap at Legal Seafood at Logan Airport. Glass came with a substantial head that lingered for a good amount of time. Light lacing on the glass. The beer was blonde in color and fairly clear.

S - very little detectable. What is there is nice.

T - as someone else mentioned it didn't really taste pilsnery. Its good, in a sort of bland way. Seemed more like a light pale ale.

M - body that I expected with pleasant carbonation.

O - I don't see myself having this one again, but elements of this brew encourage me to try other offerings from Notch.

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Photo of Beric
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Can, from the can
Served: 12 June 2015

Appearance: Had this one at a work event, so I can't comment on how the beer actually looks. Nice looking can though.

Smell: Standard 'beer' smell with hints of noble hop herbal and grassy notes.

Taste: Light biscuity malt flavors with a subtle touch of grassy hops. Somewhat bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation; very drinkable.

Overall: A drinkable, quaffable beer for sure, and definitely sessionable at only 4%, but one that is lacking quite substantially in the flavor and aroma department. I'd reach for a Summerfest in a heartbeat if I wanted a Czech pils.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden yellow in color and cloudy. Pours a one finger fizzly carbonated head.

Aroma- Lemon, grass, herbal, spice, and cracker malt sweetness.

Taste- Nice hit of noble hops upfront followed by a dry cracker malt. As it warms up it loses some of its hop punch and a sweeter malt comes out.

Feel- Dry, crisp, and a solid amount of body at 4%. As noted before as it warms it losses some of its snap as the hops die down and malt gets sweeter.

Overall- Great czech style session pils. Good burst of noble hops upfront and a dry malt adding that crisp finish. Only knock is that after 10 minutes it loses a little of its crispness and hop punch.

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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 horshack7
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's golden and hazy with a bright white foamy head a good two fingers thick but it thins out rather quick.

Aroma: Lemon zest, peppery notes, biscuit, grainy. Hops are there but in the background There is a light dryness in the nose.

Taste: Biscuit, light buttery texture, lemon zest, grainy with a light crispness on the palate and a decently smooth finish.

Notes: A decent Czech pilsner but it could use some work a little more in the hop department and a little bit of crispness to round it out. Cheers.

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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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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 Maxwell
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours like crisp watery gold, and sits in the mug like light grapefruit juice and piss with a slight ambering. This beer is only slightly hazy and opaque due to it being unfiltered, and has a great torrent of bubbles rushing to the surface to replenish the head which is a pure white, eggshell made of nice little smooth bubbles that settle at about a fingers width and seem like their staying for a drink. The beer smells wet and spicy with a juicy linger of the almost-apple that I’ve come to associate with pilsners. The hops are nicely spicy though, with hints of fluffy, buttered biscuit pulling through in the back and edges of the glass. The beer tastes much like any other pilsner. There is the slightly-stale-bread taste of the malts that runs strongly through the sip and lingers in the mouth for awhile, and there are nice slight spices from the hops and fruity juicy feel reminiscent of apples as the beer initially crosses the tip of the tongue. Mouthfeel is quite tart with a little too much carbonation assaulting the tongue and leaving it tingling with a slight sheen of saliva and dry bread feel in the rest of the mouth. The beer is very crisp and watery, making it very drinkable, and it does not sit heavy in the stomach, but I suspect that the pilsner style is just not my favorite, as I am just not impressed with this beer. Overall I call this beer a meh.

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Photo of Dools9
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 9/28/12 poured into a Schlitz pilsner glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy straw, golden color with a thick three finger, soapy white head. Impressive, patchy spider web lace.

S: Clean, crisp pilsner malt, grassy hops, little bit earth and slightly floral. Little bit of musk mixed with yeasty fruit.

T: Bright grassy, floral and lemon citrus hop flavors blend nicely with a biscuity, grainy malt backbone. There's a lingering earthy, spicy hop finish.

M: Light to medium bodied, extremely sessionable (hence the name), crisp and refreshing. Would make a good warm weather beer.

O: Went in with low expectations but found myself pleasantly surprised by this one. Would probably purchase again when looking for a low abv sessioner. Stuff goes down really easy. Based on the reviews it has, I'd say this one is a bit underrated imo.

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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 irrevjim
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours pale golden, i believe it's slightly hazy but hot day so constant fogging of glass. 1/4 inch white head that seemed thick but dissipated quickly in a duvel glass, left thin lacing that stayed.
smell of mild biscuity malts and a ghint of hops, honey, mild banana coriander. smells like i want to drink it, all aromas are subtle but pretty clear and clean.
the aforementioned hints of banana,biscuit and honey in a perfect, clean balance.
this beer is very refreshing and drinkable but not watery and doesn't feel like 'something's missing'.
this is my standard 2015 beer on hand for guests who aren't but will be attuned to craft beers.

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Photo of BostonBrewRu
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks like beer. Smells like beer. Tastes like beer...until the finish.

If it finished a bit better this would be my new favorite Pilsner. Instead it's just my favorite session beer.

Super drinkable. Super clean. Awesome for a $9 six pack

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Photo of GimmeASchlitz
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tried on tap at the local bar.

Pours a hazy, cloudy golden color.

Smells of light citrus fruit and some herbal tones. The taste follows with lemon zest, hops, and hints of grain and malts as it warms up.

Very clean and crisp drinking. Carbonation is great. Feels refreshing.

Overall a good solid beer. Very drinkable and I can see me getting this more at lunch with a 4% abv

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Photo of SKarmic
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a six pack from Ball Square fine wines & liquor in Somerville (who seemed to know their Beer, and recommended this one)

Appearance :
Color : Pale to Golden
Clarity : Slightly hazy
Head : About a quarter inch, lackluster head that disappeared quickly with some lacing.

Smell :
Malts : Sweet with a slightly bitter finish.
Hops : Slightly floral but understated.
Alcohol : Smooth, watered down.

Taste :
There is a slightly floral taste, that's about all that I was able to pick up.

Mouthfeel :
Slightly creamy, flat and somewhat watery.

Overall :
Overall I am not terribly impressed with this Pils. It tastes like a Pils, kind of what I would describe as "table beer" - something you can drink with meals and in volume. But I have had better PIls. This one was a bit flat.

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Photo of Johnny2
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally - a local beer that tastes likes beer!!
Had this on tap at Upper Crust in Newburyport....will have to get a six pack soon. I've always wanted to support local breweries but could never find a solid pilsner that tasted like something they would actually drink in Europe.

Poured lovely, leaving a nice head which all good beers should have. Tasted fresher than any other pilsner I've had on tap anywhere else, except for maybe Czechvar on tap at The Independent in Somerville.
Crisp and just the right amount of hops in this one...not overbearing at all but strong enough to know you're drinking quality.

Tip of the hat to the guys in Ipswich...Thank you!

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Photo of Robusta
4.74/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Notch Pilsner very effectively provides a clean, crisp extremely flavorful, satisfying Pilsner with only 4ABV. Nothing against the wonderful varieties of heavier microbrews out there however Notch should be praised for their tasty , refreshing products contributions to the American beer scene.

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Notch Session Pils from Notch Brewing
3.58 out of 5 based on 210 ratings.
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