Collaboration No. 1 - Imperial Pilsner | Boulevard Brewing Co.

152 Reviews
Collaboration No. 1 - Imperial PilsnerCollaboration No. 1 - Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
For this inaugural installment of collaboration brews, we invited distinguished Belgian brewer Jean-Marie Rock to join our own Steven Pauwels for a zymological alliance. The two conspired to revive a recipe from the very beginning of Rock’s career, the memory of which he has cherished for more than 30 years. A starkly simple recipe combined with a painstakingly complex brewing process produce an Imperial Pilsner of subtle elegance and delicately balanced contrasts. First wort hopping, a very old technique in which hops normally added late in the boil are put in at the beginning, and allowed to steep for a much longer time, gives the beer an especially refined hop aroma and flavor. The 100% Pilsner malt makes a clear, yet restrained statement, answered by a stead, harmonious chorus of Saaz hop bitterness, echoes of which linger in the dry, crisp finish.

29 IBU

Added by bort11 on 01-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 192
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #1, 2009. So this is a vintage.
Collaboration one pours a hazy golden color with a nice large long lasting head. The aroma is malty, sweet, crisp, with nice hints of yeasty and lemons. The taste has a nice crisp malty backbone, with nice hints of lemon, and a nice vanilla undertone. There are also a crisp grass like flavor, with a finish that has hints of a yeasty like flavor. Feels very nice, very nicely carbonated. Overall what a nice complex full flavored Pils, would have loved to tried a fresh one, but very surprised on how it aged.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JeepCop for this bottle...

A: Pours a nice semi-opaque lemony yellow with about one and a half fingers of pure white head. The foam settles slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing along the glass.

S: This beer smells like a prefect pilsner. It smells crisp and clean, there are notes of fresh cut grass, lemon, and a bit of sweet berry.

T: This beers starts out wet and crisp. There is a bit of stinging mixed with berry as soon as it hits the palate. The berry flavors fade and the citrus notes come on strong afterward. Fresh cut grass and more citrus are evident in the finish. There is a nice malt backbone all the way through the taste.

M: Medium bodied beer. Don't let the clean, light, color fool you. This beer has a bit of heft to it. The carbonation starts off high, but it settles as it moves on the palate. It's not easy drinking, but it's solid.

O: This is a solid beer. I don't think I've ever had an Imperial Pilsner before. The mouthfeel is good and the flavors are spot on for a pilsner. I can;t pick up much alcohol for an 8% beer, which I greatly appreciate. Another quality Boulevard beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very slightly hazy yellow golden amber with a two finger white head and lacing. Malt and hop aroma. Full bodied with bready malt and nice pilsner flavor. Light hop finish. Well made and satisfying, but not one of my top styles. Glad to have tried it. Might revisit if it was available in smaller bottles.

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Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured a light golden color with a thick white foam covering the top of the beer. Nice looking color to it.

The aroma has a crisp, citrus rind quality to it along with some tart fruits. I also get some sweeter pale malts and slight herbal spice.

The taste shows a little more of an herbal, earthy hop presence to it. I get some crisp, tart fruits to it along with some lemon rind zest.

The mouthfeel is light and carbonation is high. Overall it was pretty decent beer of the style. It was pretty drinkable and flavorful as well. I'm not usually a fan of double or imperial pilsners, but this one wasn't bad.

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Photo of MTNboy
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A mildly hazy gold body that clears up (If you baby it). Nice carbonation to the body that leads to a white rocky head and forms a soapy lace.

Smell: There is a grainy presents with some zest qualities. Biscuits and some floral hop tones.

Taste: It has a sharp taste the hops although this is not really a “hoppy beer” hit you first then the finish is all about the malt.

Mouthfeel: I would say it has a medium body with a refreshing bite and a creamy feel.

Overall: I loved it. It was as it should have been a heavy pils. It was very refreshing

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Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy yellow/golden color with two fingers of white foam. The head fades to a layer on top of the pour and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with some mild herbaL notes as well as some citrus. Very pilsner like.

Taste: Not a whole lot of sweetness, maybe a bit in the finish. Pilsner malt with some mild citrus notes. Some alcohol and a bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: One of the better examples of the style I have had. I'd have another if I ever get the chance.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a wit. Hazy light orange color with a bright white head.

Given the age, it's no surprise the hops have faded. Mostly a bready aroma with a hint of alcohol.

Bready taste, slight citrus, hints of alcohol and a nice malti sweetness.

Crisp in a way, but full bodied for a 2x Pils.

Nice brew, but I regret not having it fresh.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter - Best by date is 9/2010 and it's 9/2011 so take this review with a grain of salt. It's been sitting in the back of my fridge since I bought it and I forgot it was there.

A: Pours a clear straw yellow with a nice white head that fades to a layering and leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass. Looks pretty great.

S: The nose is very malt forward with notes of sugar bread, light tropical fruits, and a bit of vanilla in the background. No hops but I expect this was once a hop bomb given the tropical fruit influence.

T: The taste has barely any hops and more tropical fruits like pineapple with sweet bready malt and vanilla in the background. I actually love the way it tastes but I imagine it's not anywhere near what they intended. Kinda tastes like it's oak aged with the vanilla aromas and flavors.

M: The feel is actually creamy and medium bodied. The finish is slighty dry but you can tell it should be a bit drier.

O: I actually like this with a year or more of age. It tastes like a regular oak aged IPA that is past its prime yet it has the characteristics of a regular Pilsner. Very tasty yet not what intended by the brewery at this point.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a slight hazy bright yellow color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of lightly sweet malt base with a solid dry hops aroma. Taste is a nice mix between some lightly sweet floral malt bill with nice notes of dry European hops. Body is quite full with average filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very drinkable with nice complexities and nice balanced mix of hops.

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Photo of AAxsom
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 750ml with jeed2316. This bottle has been in my cellar for over a year as it is was being tested for food pairings for an upcoming tasting.

A - Very light, crisp golden color. Tons of pillowy, foamy head. I remember that when I first tried this when it came out, there was a ton of carbonation at first, almost like a champagne. The carbonation was still there, but it was definitely not overwhelming to look at this time around.

S - The earthy notes really take over with aging. Very complex, almost a bit skunky, but very strong grain, wheat tones to this. The aroma is very clean and refreshing, and is truly one of the highpoints of this beer. I almost gave this a five.

T - Very balanced, as the hops are present on the smell but the taste brings out more of the malts. There is just a bit of spice on the tongue, but very crisp and smooth overall. Excellent Imperial Pilsner that seems very basic at first, but is really very deep and complex.

M - Exceptionally clean and easy to drink. I really want more of this. Pilsners sometimes have that gross, skunky finish at the end, but this leaves me wanting more.

O - I've had this twice and the second was even better than the first. Grab a bottle if you can still find it and enjoy!

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden body, just off white head, active carbonation in a perfectly clear beer. Just a little aggressive head.

S: Malty, much more so than I expected, not much for hops though. No off flavors at all, very clean in that regard. Slightly grainy. I would appreciate a little more bitterness.

T: A little sweet, a little grainy, solid pale malt backbone though. Still no hoppiness at all or even remnant hoppiness. Very smooth though. There is also a distinct Belgian fruity flavor, perhaps contributing to the sensation of sweet.

M: Bold, full bodied, which fits the imperial part, but very lacking in carbonation.

A very drinkable Imperial beer, but I don't really see the point in going from a regular Pils to this unless you really like the flavor and just want to up the alcohol.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One from the cellar. Think I got this at Syrdk's in Minneapolis.
I recall liking the brewery's offerings.

I like a good pilsner sometimes, and imperial aged may be my new fave.

Tempted to hold longer but batch 1 2009 best by 9/10 makes me rethink storage and reconsider consumption.

Stuck cork, good sound. Very good carbonation. Full inch plus of foam. Very pale hazey yellow. Foam gone a minute or two after pour.

Faint smell, floral. Tastes slightly metallic. Dry and spicy.
Saaz, clearly. Strong lasting flavor that isn't over powering.

Some things don't age as well, this did ok. Shouldn't sit too much longer.

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Photo of Snow81
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy yellow that looks like a fresh glass of lemonade

Head: Big white head

Smell: Malty sweet grass

Taste: Floral hops with a clean maltyness and a hint of heat

Weight: Medium to heavy body for an Imperial
Pilsner with a low to medium carbonation

Finish: Clean light floral hops with subtle malts

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually gave this beer as a gift to a buddy of mine while I was there visiting, but I never got to try it. I finally decided to give it a shot, so here we go:

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy yellow gold color with a solid 1" head of fluffy white bubbles. The head was every bit of half-height well over a minute after the pour. There are numerous bubbles rising to maintain the head. The resulting head that is lasting forever on top of the beer is about 1/4" and ended up being really creamy looking.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of noble hops, mostly Saaz, and a bunch of toasty Pilsner malt notes. It smells like a malty Pilsner with the volume turned up, which I would expect. After the beer has sat for a bit, there is a mild wheaty edge coming out, which, I wonder, if that is where the haze is coming from.

Taste: The flavor is also balanced with plenty of European ingredients. The hops are the first thing you notice with the spicy Saaz being the more predominant member. There is a lot of malt in this beer, and it is coming out with some sweet toasty notes and a very subtle light caramel. The finish is led by the hops, but the malt isn't far behind. The beer is pretty well attenuated for being as big as it is. The carbonation is adequate to maybe slightly high, which is good for this beer. There is some dryness left on the back of the throat from the hops and attenuation, but there is also an evident alcoholic warming that sets in late after the sip and stays on the palate for quite some time after the sip.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty darn good beer. It comes across just as what it claims to be, an Imperial Pilsner. I personally brew this style quite a bit, but mine are more like MaiBocks. This has the hop profile of a Pilsner beer and that is unmistakable. I wouldn't say that this is the best beer that I have ever had before, but it is definitely a good one and I would recommend it and wouldn't mind drinking it again sometime.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into SN tulip pint glass. Thanks to roosevelt25 for sending me this one.

A: At first this pours a crystal clear golden color, but as the yeast churns up the liquid because more cloudy and opaque. A billowing egg-shell white head frothed up with the pour and took some time to fade into a rocky layer that left streaks of chunky lacing down the glass.
S: I get notes of pepper and spicy hops with hints of yeast, grass and lemon.
T: Sweet notes of candied lemon, pilsner malt, bread crust, spicy pepper and grassy Saaz hops. Aftertaste has a touch of bitterness from the hops.
M: Medium body with tingly carbonation. Not as clean as it could be, but still refreshing.
O: I'm drinking this beer with a grain of salt (not literally) since it's a couple months old, but it's still quite good and refreshing. Fresh I'm sure this would be amazing, and I would drink it again. Thanks again roosevelt25 for hooking it up!

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Photo of harrymel
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to orgasmicchemist for this extra, cheers Ryan!

A: Golden ale with hazy clarity. Multi finger head of thick, meringue like head falls to the same within minutes in a thick quilt. Good lacing. Better clarity preferred for this one.

S: Nice floral quality to this. sure, grain, hints of noble hops, earthy with barely a hint of discernible alcohol. The floral character is akin to gardenia's and tulips. Nice, and not too strong.

T: Sweet, backbone of fermented malt. The yeast comes through here well, with a good straw and sheet grass character. Very subtle profiles here. ABV well hidden. The earliest cardboard oxidation at the finish line.

M: Medium to full body for the style. Medium-low carb for the style. Slight pinch on the tongue and leaves slight polish on the palate.

O: Quite well crafted. Impy Pilsner isn't something you come across too frequently in the beer world, and quite a few examples abandon the hop profile of a traditional pilsner, this one does good. Cheers Blvd!

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Photo of treyrab
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to my friend Gavin for sending this to me in our most recent trade. I have no access to Boulevard so it is always a pleasure to receive them via trade. Very excited for this, so I quickly chilled and poured into a chalice.

A: After a struggle to remove the cork, a nice pop yields a nice hazy golden beer when poured. A nice two finger, creamy head envelopes the inside of the glass. Very creamy, long lasting, and awesome lacing. The body glows with its yellow hues and the head, with its lacing and creaminess, is near perfect.

S: Massive Saaz and varieties of German hops. Awesome German hop skunk mixed with some sour/musty/skunky cereal grains. Very peppery and skunky with some basic cereal grains. Very awesome.

T: Very nice and creamy with a basic German Pilsner malt taste with the skunk and bitter grass hops that are noticed in the scent. For 8 ABV, this drinks like it is 6, with absolutely no alcohol noticeable.

Overall, this is a great beer. Very flavorful for a pilsner, with an awesome Saaz and German hop background.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on 3-11-11
Batch 1-2009
Best before 9/10

Pours an extremely cloudy and light yellow color, with a thick white head that quickly fades. Lacing is long-lasting and sticky.

Smell is all pine and citrus hops, with just the right amount of malt underneath. Tons of hops, but very clean and balanced.

Taste is lighter and more balanced than I expected, with lots of hop flavors but not overly bitter. Simple, but very well made.

Mouthfeel is good, right for the style and flavors.

Drinkability is very good, a great balance of interesting flavors makes it easy to drink.

Overall, not the most intense imperial pilsner I've had, but probably the most well-crafted.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a yellow hazy liquid with a thin but creamy white head that leaves decent lacing. Has some meat to it.

S- Smells like an imperial pilsner. Toast and hops. Straight to the point.

T- Toast, and some citrus and pine hops. Simple, but well done.

M- Very creamy and smooth with a bit of a carbonated bite at the finish.

D- A very enjoyable take on the style. Probably only behind Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at City Wide in Mishawaka, IN. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pour yields a very light yellow-to-straw-colored brew with a good bone-white head and a good deal of lacing. The nose brings forward some light herbal and earthy hops and a bit of spice. Mild bready yeast character there as well. The taste is mostly grain with some slight hops and a bit of bread. Noble hops in the finish, which is quite dry. Light body and good carbonation. There is also a bit of hay and straw toward the tail end. Really enjoy the dry finish. A bit pricey for what it is, but I'd certainly drink it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh on two separate occasions. Thanks Matt!

The beer appears slightly hazy and pale yellow in color. The head stands in at around half an inch thick and leaves a fair amount of lacing behind.

The aroma is of floral, citrus, with some light grassy notes.

Well balanced and pretty tasty. The hop component is definitely there, but not overly assertive. A subtle grassy character adds a nice touch of complexity to the beer. Overall, a simple beer and less daring than I was hoping / expecting from an international collaborative effort.

Nice feel and easy on the palate. Carbonation level is solid.

A decent beer, but nothing too exciting taking place.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle purchased in Houston for about $15 after tax. The label states it was made in 2-2009, best by September 2010. So I'm drinking it a little ripe, but it's worth the risk as this is a collaboration between 2 great breweries, Boulevard and Orval!

This pours a cloudy and murky pale golden color, with an initially thick head that recedes to a thin ring. The all pilsner malt construction leads to strong yeast and hops aromas, grassy and honey-like, with pear/apple fruit character.

These lead to the flavor, the fruity esters are a little similar to some of the lighter Unibroue beers, very yeasty, much more Belgian in character than Czech or German. Except for the Saaz hops, which lend their grassy flavors in a big way, second only to the yeast.

Medium carbonation and heavy bodied for a pilsner, not as easy drinking as most pilsners as the 8% ABV is evident in the body. Great stuff though.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dale for this one.

Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with a strong billowy white head which fades to clumpy lace and stringers. Smell is meaty malt and bready yeast with cracked pepper, grass, and floral qualities. Taste is a brightly malt/yeast body with lingering pepper and dry flower finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Started out thinking this wouldn't be very interesting, boy was I mistaken. Enjoyed and would certainly like to enjoy again and again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

Very pale golden yellow, true and clear with a decent lacing to boot. Aromas of candied sugar, faint honey, dried grass, fresh taffy, wildflowers, chalky yeast. Crisp and popping with a deep smoothness; lighter body than expected but still fluffy from the carbonation. Nutty, biscuity flavor takes hold and does not want to let go. Hop bitterness comes in aggressive but leaves room for everything else. Hint of bitter orange, wildflowers and sage. Clean warming alcohol is pleasant. Lots of dried grass on the palate.

Delicate, intricate ... let it warm up to dissect it. Yes, get that lager up to cellar temp and sip away. Delicious.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out of a 750mL bottle into a pilsner glass. A cloudy, golden color. Lots of bubbles and a thick 3 inch, white head. The tall glass really shows it off well.

S - Smells like hops before they are tossed into the pot. Slightly floral, but not fruity. Fresh and clean.

T - Tiny malt, hops (not as crisp as I think a pilner should be), slight banana taste.

M - Light body and carbonation. Great feeling.

D - Very drinkable. Very simple overall, but done well. From a pilsner I was expecting more of the German/Berliner style, but this is good too.

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Collaboration No. 1 - Imperial Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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