Rio Grande Desert Pilsner | Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)

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Rio Grande Desert PilsnerRio Grande Desert Pilsner
45 Ratings
Rio Grande Desert PilsnerRio Grande Desert Pilsner

Brewed by:
Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)
New Mexico, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A German style pilsner with German yeast, German Noble Hops and 10 percent Durst Pilsner Malt. This lager is fermented at 55 degrees for one week and lagered (German for stored) for at least two more weeks. The sharp hop bite up front is intended to keep the palette clean; giving the beer high drink ability. There is no after taste, the finish turns right off. This is the perfect session beer.

37 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-29-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by BeardedBoffin:
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark yellow color with essentially no foam. The aroma is bready with lingering bitter hops. The palate is a tad disorganized. The grain have husky edges and a sweetish core. Together it moves toward the end, picking up a tinge of sulfur, toward the bitter end. The bitterness is fine, but it doesn't placate what preceded it. Still the beer is drinkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Nearly clear yellow golden color, tiny bubble lacing sticks very well. Hint of sulfur, grassy hops and sourbread maltiness in the nose. Very smooth with a bit of crispness in the middle, moderate sized body. Fresh oily hop flavor drops some bitterness on the palate. Grainy with some breadiness within, quick flash of tartness ... almost apple-like. Finished with a clean graininess and lingering bitter hop.

Not half bad, a little rough around the edges but it ends up being drinkable.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a clear goldenish color with a medium sized white head that quickly dies off. Leaves an small yet ok lacing that lingers a while, drank it kinda slow, might have lasted throughout if I'd drank faster, my bad. Light sourish aroma leads into a bear with similar tastes, nothing outstanding but not bad either. The aftertaste is light and slightly dry. I'd say that there are a lot of better beers out there, but at the same time there are a lot worse offerings.

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Photo of javlin624
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of aty11b
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of ElGordo
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden hue with a very small, pearl-white head. Not a whole lot of aroma, a little bit of sweet malt and a touch of hops, with a subtle background of malt and Saaz hops. Kind of hoppy for a pils, but more mellow than most other beers brewed with Saaz. Hop profile begins slightly floral and ends rather bitter. Although it's thoroughly Americanized, it's a decent pils.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.32/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Cloudy golden color with minimal head.

Smells like lemon cotton candy, if such a thing exists.

Fairly sweet throughout. Slight bitterness at the end. Not nearly bitter enough for the style, but still enjoyable.

Crisp, moderate carbonation and medium body.

I actually enjoyed this pilsener more than most because it isn't bitingly bitter. The lack of any head held it back but it was nice.

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Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the brewery

Pours golden & effervescent with a 2" fluffy white head. Some head retention & minimal lacing

Smell: Fruitty, & slight graininess

Taste: Fruiity, slight grainyness. Dry & slightly floral hop finish

MF: Soft and creamy on the pallet. Good carbonation

Very quaffable, no preservatives & only distributed in NM. I reccomend it, but suggest caution if not purchased in state

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Photo of k47k
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mscudder
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of omegaman
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rio Grande’ Desert Pilsner has the thinnest, little white head, a hazy, very bubbly, yellow-golden appearance, and good lacing left behind. The aroma is strong and nice- sweet, pungent, bready malt, a bit of grass, and a slight hop zing. Taste is of sweetness and bitterness, which work together exquisitely to present a biscuit-like flavor, with a lovely yeast undertone. Mouthfeel is medium and prickly, and Rio Grande’ Desert Pilsner finishes crisp, clean refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a delicious beer, and I strongly advise trying it out!


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Photo of babydoc
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date. I'm assuming it's fresh since the brewery sold it to me! Pours clear straw gold, bright white head faded away soon. Nose is flowery hops.

Taste was a sweet malt backbone, balanced throughout by bitter hops, leading to a dry finish, slightly bitter on the tongue and palate. What, no corn or rice? No, tasted like a pils should...

light to moderate carbonation, nice mouthfeel, crisp finish. Easy to drink, wish I'd brought back more.

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

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Holiday Inn bar in Albuquerque. Pours a crystal clear, light yellow color. Has a decent sized white head and retention is not bad, lacing is pretty good.

Nose has a nice Hallertau aroma, aromatic and floral. Has some sweet grain involved and a touch of light melons.

Taste is a little sweet for the style and could use a boost in hop flavor. Bitterness is there and lends a crisp finish but the beer does not completely jive with me. Certainly not a bad effort from the folks in Moriarty, and is actually pretty good for SB, especially considering it is one of their only lager offerings. A bit of a nutty yeast flavor along with a hint of sour malt. Not bad, I'd drink it again for sure, has some interesting flavors and an intriguing hop schedule.

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Photo of Zorro
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky clouded dirty gold colored beer with a good white head. Loses big time for appearance.

Smell is sweet and grassy with a sweet bread aroma. Quite spicy and fruity smelling. Looks and smells like a Roggenbier in truth.

The taste starts out little sweet and bread like flavor, very thick in the mouth. Mild hop in the aftertaste this is quite close to liquid bread.

Mouthfeel is thick, this beer style isn't supposed to be thick.

Interesting beer, call it Roggenbier and this would score higher.

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Photo of Determined_021
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of thereal_adam
2.5/5  rDev -30%

Photo of batt6343
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the airport "brewpub" in Albuquerque.

The beer pours a fairly pale gold color with decent head retention and light lacing. Don't pick up a whole lot on the nose, though what I get is nice... honey, sort of an overt grassiness, and very light pepper and citrus. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, but there's just more of everything. This is a very well balanced pils, but with a nice clean, crisp, somewhat bitter finish. There's some underlying sweetness from the malt as well, but this beer has the requisite amount of hoppy bitterness to counter that modest sweetness very well. The finish is long, clean, crisp and quite satisfying.

Nothing extraordinary here, but a very solid, easy to enjoy beeer, that I was very happy to discover at the airport.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. 0511 stamped on the bottom of the front label (I'm hoping that's the born on date, but it doesn't specify).

Appearance - Clear pale yellow-gold body. One finger white head that quickly dissipates into a thin lace. Good stick.

Smell - Sweet musky corn. Traces of honey.

Taste - Mild-moderate sweetness throughout, but still somehow has a dry feel. Perhaps the metallic notes and slight astringency are so thin and balanced that they don't present as off-characters, but rather give the beer some dynamic. Well done.

Mouthfeel - Coats the tongue, but isn't too sticky. Just solvent enough to remove itself. A bit acidic.

Overall Drinkability - Definitely an enjoyable take on the German pils. None like I've had before, and nowhere near the best, but has a profile of its own. Respect.

 827 characters

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.77/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It had a very light gold to straight up yellow color and consistent throughout the glass. It has citrus aroma like lemon and tastes of oranges. The feel is smooth with not an overwhelming presence of carbonation to disrupt the flavors. I really enjoyed drinking this beer and was pleasently surprised for what it had to offer in way of taste and smell. It was very hard ot resist gulping it down quickly.

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Rio Grande Desert Pilsner from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company (Rio Grande)
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 45 ratings