Ball Lightning Pilsner | Catskill Brewery

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Ball Lightning PilsnerBall Lightning Pilsner
Very Good
30 Ratings
Ball Lightning PilsnerBall Lightning Pilsner

Brewed by:
Catskill Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Bohemian Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with Saaz Hops.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by Premo88:
Photo of Premo88
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

32 oz. crowler poured into tall mug
(filled on 2/17/18 at the brewery (?) then shipped down south by @TongoRad)

L: almost completely clear yellow-gold topped by big head of offwhite foam, over 2 inches tall because I had a bit of trouble with the first pour (whoops!); doesn't stick or lace, keeps almost no collar

S: lemon peel, cracker malt, cilantro, grass ... the hops pop but as it warms it gets very fruity and sweet, peach, apricot, and with a bit of bread malt

T: lemon peel and grassy hops with a sweet kick of bread malt; the bitterness is at that perfect pils level, plenty to bite but not so much that the malt can't have some say; as it warms and I get into the glass, I'd swear on occasion I get a slight sour milk aftertaste ... never encountered it, and it's so slight I wonder if my mind's not playing tricks on me; can get a bit buttery over the final 1/3 or 1/4 of the glass, but that just pulls the malt from cracker into bready flavors, so I dig it

F: hard to score because the crowler has a couple weeks on it, but overall it's still got plenty of carbonation and everything else is fine; a very soft second pour from the crowler left me with a bit more carbonation, and it's fantastic! light and fluffy but with that great prickly crispness I love in pilseners; my bet is the mouthfeel is perfect out of the vat

O: the kind of beer I'd buy often enough to keep some in the fridge at all times; its hop bite is just big enough to make it a great beer to have on hand when you want to close out a session with something you know you love; while the carbonation is just a hair flat, the overall effect of the beer is still what I'd call dry with more cracker than bread malt notes, making it exactly what I think of in a good Czech pilsener

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More User Reviews:
Photo of utopiajane
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours like a perfect gold bar rendered into my glass. Bright and perfectly clear. A fat head of white foam adorns it sweetly and lasts well. The whole cone saaz hops are generously floral but not sharp. they are light billowy grasses with a fresh almost minty coolness. The malt is stalwart and tremendously breaddy. Just golden bread crust on a soft white bread. This is one of the cleanest pilsners I have ever observed. There is nary a hint of DMS on it. Most pilsners have some. No diacetyl, no acetaldehyde. The beer drinks so lightly. The bubbles tease you but don't bite they only prick you a little ans they burst softly in the finish. Those hops are as sensual on the palate as on the nose and they fill up the middle of the beer with sweet softness. Fine billowy grasses that are just sweetly herbal and fresh. A crisp German style bitterness finishes this one cleanly and without too much lollygagging to leave you with more bread than you thought! No fruity flavors at all. Just soft succulence form hops that cannot outlast the malt.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very well made German Pilsner- squeaky clean, pale, dry and bitter with a great bite to it. Aroma is mostly grassy or straw-like, with just the right amount of Pils malt in the background. Enjoyed a growler from the brewery, and never got tired of it for a second.

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Photo of dar482
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drinkbeernoth2o
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I usually expect little to nothing from pilsners. I can honestly say that this one is one of the best I've ever had. It gave me the traditional Pilsner taste while providing a desire to have another. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

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Photo of spycow
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cavedave
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to TongoRad for this delicious take on a Pilsener!

Pours a beautiful white gold with a finger of pure white foam that kicks back to skim and ring. It is crystal clarity that turns the pilsner glass to a jewel.

Med. strength aroma, crisp, grainy bread and light lemony sweet, with another layer of malt driven smell that resembles a heavy grained farm bread. As it warms I catch hints of new mown hay as glass nears nose, in a good way. Nice.

Mmm, medium/full flavor, different than expected. the complex and deep bready notes in aroma now are more of a light crisp grained flavor with a touch of sweet that blends well with a spicy hoppiness not present in aroma. Lemony notes do not overpower and end the sip with just a hint of pithy bitter and light, but cresting, spice to finish it dry.

Light on palate, a touch watery, perfect carb. for style, very refreshing light viscosity, and an excellent finish.

As with the CB pale ale I tried this is a delicious and different take on style. High recommendation, for a beer I could drink without stop until evolution re-creates trilobites as the planet's main life form, if not longer

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Photo of ElijahRivera
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of NorseKaiser
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Curt3
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of prisdefer
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Really interesting and complex for a pils. Lots of cracker and something oddly spicy.

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Photo of Willytee3
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Pours a clear light straw color with foamy pure white head. About 1/2 finger of foam sticks around forming a thick ring and fluffy film.
Smells of spicy pilsner, zest of green lemons, deep wheat with a hint of raspberry and candy sugar, and wet leaves.
Nice Pilsner bite with a good hop bitter and lemon peel zest, hay, dry wheat, followed by a tad of berry skin which imparts a minimal sweetness. Grains follow on an semi dry finish which leaves some tartness on the palate.
A nice tight carbonation delivers a zesty brew that slowly fades leaving on the palate a bitter dryness. Body is light and of the style but I do like a fuller beer.
Light yet flavorful, refreshing beer that delivers more complexity then your average Pils, with some berry tartness. A good all day summer session beer. Best of all it's produced in a Geothermal brewery.!

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fosters9
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ConorGolden
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of T-34-85
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Hop Beacon:

A: Honey straw character and magnifying glass clarity. Shame the head was minuscule, but I'm not denying I prefer the extra beer.

S: Very clean in presentation. Mostly graham cracker malts with only the slightest bit of cracked corn because I was looking for it. Distinct saaz herbals.

M: Great crispness despite perhaps lower than anticipated carbonation. Light bodied.

T: Grassy and semi sweet pils malt. Earthy hop flavor moreover herbal which is present but only to the extent that it dresses the sweet malt bill. Very spicy, bitter residue considering the sweet herbal presence prior.

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Photo of AlvinLin
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Risenhower
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Ball Lightning Pilsner from Catskill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 30 ratings