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

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Collaboration No. 1 - Imperial PilsnerCollaboration No. 1 - Imperial Pilsner
192 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 152
Photo of gnemesis
3.06/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got via trade with JJFoodie. Poured from 750ml bottle into pint glass on 4/4. Pours a light golden hue with huge white head. Smells of belgian yeast, slightly bitter, light hops. The taste is good for the style, floral hops, slightly spicy, grain present, alcohol is well hidden. Light body and heavily carbonated. Drinkability is good but not great. 750ml bottle is better shared rather than attempted solo anyways.

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Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy, light straw yellow color. At first a large and wispy white head forms, but recedes in a second. Very little lace.
S: Musky and dank yeast. Husky pale malts. An odd hop bitterness lingers. A metallic twang as well.
T: Musky yeast. Pale malts with an extremely dry hoppy presence. A lingering bitterness. A slightly metallic flavor as well.
M/D: A light to medium body. Crisp carbonation, and very dry. Not hard to drink, though I am honestly not that interested in this.

I can appreciate the simpleness of this beer. One type of malt, one type of hop. Though this is more interesting than good as far as I am concerned. Worth a look, but not one of my favorite Smokestack beers.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a pale golden color with light carbonation and 1 inch of white head.

s - Smells of pale malts, a little bit of sweet sugar, and grain

t - Tastes of sweet malts, and grain or wheat. Not much here.

m - Light body and light carbonation.

d - I wasn't a fan of this pilsner. I thought it was too weak in the smell and taste, and that that was there was just sweet sugar or malts. Wouldn't want to have again.

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Photo of screename
3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: I loved the appearance of this beer it had a yellow murky tint. Very eye pleasing.

S: The aroma was fantastic Similar to sour dough bread. not overwhelming.

T: This is where i became disappointed, the beer was crisp, fruitful and refreshing for the first few seconds. Until you swallow, then the after taste overwhelms the pallet. It has some Metallic flavor similar to copper or silver, and a tartness that can only be compared to chewing a piece of lemon peel. this ruined the entire preceding experience. After about half a glass you become used to the flavor a bit more but the tartness and metallic flavor still lingers long after the sip is gone. However i will say that for as potent of a beer as it is, Collaboration #1 was surprisingly smooth.

I love both Orval and Boulevard and I would have to say that this is my least favorite effort on both of their parts.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a clear fizzy light yellow gold with a big meringue-like white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is soft - some musty yeast, a little fruit and metallic hops. As it warms, some sweet honey and floral hops come out that are much more appealing.

The flavor is sweet, slightly vegetal, malts with a dry musty finish that has some metallic noble hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, pretty simple and restrained for an 8% beer. I didn't really care for all the parts individually of the beer, but overall it was nice. A bit too expensive for a repeat buy at that level though at $13.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This 750 mL bottle pours the same color as your normal pilsner, but has some good haziness that makes this beer a little thicker on the mouth than you might suppose. Tall white foamy head.

A menthol coolness with hoppy citrus notes and some mowed grass. Lackluster.

Your typical pilsner taste that really explodes on the back end with a ton of floral hops. Great bite that stays with you.

Good and crisp, a quenching beer. Not as aromatic as I'd like, but at $11.99 a 750, it's a pretty good deal.

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Photo of vacax
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours a yellow-gold with slight cloudiness, medium sized head with high retention, a moderate thickness, and good lace. Aroma has grainy malts with perfumey and minty hops. The taste is grassy with pineapple and some plasticesque phenols, then a strongly herbal cookielike finish. Moderate fullness on the feel and a lot of creamy carbonation. This one was interested because it seemed to amp up hops that aren't normally used in quantity for a uniquely perfumey and minty essence. Not quite my bag though.

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Photo of Fnord
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clear effervescent yellow with a huge white head.

Smell - Grassy hops, alcohol, and honey. Saaz hops already evident.

Taste - Starts with honey and alcohol, then finishes with crisp hops. I'm getting hints of yeast and clove, making it finish almost like a Belgian IPA.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light body with high carbonation.

Notes - I think this is the first imperial pilsner I've had, and the style name fits: it's pretty much a pilsner with ramped up alcohol. I'm actually not a huge fan of this, though I suspect it's the style that disagrees with me rather than the beer itself. To me, the main attraction of pilsners is that they have lots of flavor while staying light and drinkable, but this isn't all that light and drinkable anymore. Oh well. I'm a big fan of both Orval and Boulevard, so I'm disappointed. Hopefully the next Boulevard collaboration is in a style that I can appreciate.

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Photo of xtalman
3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As with most reiveiws this came from the 750 ml bottle as all the Smokestack brews do.

Pours a hazy golden colore good crisp white head.
Nose is unremarkable, mostly malt very light hop notes.
Taste is good fairly dry and biscuty (is that a word), slight hop prescense in the end. MOuth feel is crisp. Alchohol is subduded.

Overall a good brew, I was a bit under whelmed given the hype and the price. IMHO the other Smokestack offering are better. There are also better pilsners out there.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Jodio
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of midworken
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of froghop
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy yellow with a large white fluffy head, and some lacing.

smell is of citrus, grain, malt, and a touch of spice.

taste is crisp, malt, grain, some fruit, citrus, some spice, and a few hops in the back, ends a little oily and somewhat bitter.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this bottle from 99 Bottles Federal Way, Wa

A: Poured a bug straw yellow color much like any other pils, good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Some hops, grains and thats about it

T: Some grains, booze not overbearing with good amount of hops. Some spice and still throwing off CO2 which seems to be a common theme among many Smokestack brews these days

M: This beer was missing that extra crispness and mouthfeel I look for on a good pils

D: Ok

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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 Fladder
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a nice, clear, very light gold. The head was light, but still thick and the amount of carbonation fit the style well.

The smell struck me with a full, sharp spiciness. The spice smell could almost be described as an earthy mix of tumeric and ginger. This was definitely the best part of the beer.

The taste contained much of the same spice flavor as the smell, although it left a bit too much of an astringent, dry flavor in the aftertaste. There were some detectable tannins.
The beer was quite dry and did not leave me begging for more and the astringency was not completely countered by the more desirable tastes.

This beer is good in small servings, but is not something I could have often. The 750ml bottle size is very appropriate for sharing with a few friends so that multiple glasses don't result in too much of a drying effect.

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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 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 Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice Pilsner, although nothing much too rave about if not for a fair craft simplicity and some stimulating Pilsner cleanliness.

Presentation: 750 brown corked bottle. Front label design around the idea of an exclusive certificate for the collaboration with name of the brew, branding and artist signatures of the two brewers. Back label offers a narrative with intent, history, main ingredients, and general description. Shows storage and serving indications, batch number (2-2009), and best by date (9/10) Notes Alc. by Vol. (8.0%) Served on a broad tulip glass, second pour served on a tall Pilsner glass.

A - Straw to pale gold pour with, faintly hazy although more so in the final pour, with a rich and generous head, fine retention, some lacing and a fair surface memory.

S - Soft nose, it is nice but it is very tamed. Biscuit malt, a bit of a hoppy grassy range... Overall a nice Pilsner scent emerging slowly.

T - Expands the nose with a broader grassy Pilsner malt character. Early hoppy bite with a lightly sweet and a bit of an earthy sense coating it. Finish develops a shy sweet note.

M - Light to light-medium body with low carbonation. In fact it is a bit flat towards the end and even for an "imperial" Pilsner a bigger dose of bubbles is missing. Crisp finish, bitter and dry but at one point the lack of carbonation hinders its enjoyment.

D - Starts with a nice drinkability expectation and the sweet and slightly heavier body for a Pilsner does not seem to hinder it in any way. Unfortunately a second pour starts to turn it into a blander and a bit dull experience. However, I must admit that Pilsner is not a style I´m typically too fond of so my appreciation is in part mediated by that bias.

Notes: Hmmm, not something for me in the end. I´m glad to have tried it, but while fair this does not seem to deserve the praise of a collaboration... Good for them, but we do not have a particularly intriguing or different brew thanks to it. In a way I wonder why bothering, on another side I think it is great to have these offerings as part of the mix although they are leaning a bit much, if not towards a marketing ploy, certainly towards a fad.

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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 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 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 pascilla
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of shakeheap
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the typical Smokestack bomber into a german Pilsner glass. That took awhile because there is tremendous head on this. Looked like the top of grandma's lemon meringue pie.

Definitely more yeasty flavor here than in the typical Pilsner.

While I absolutely back this new collaboration trend and am psyched that Boulevard is planning more in the future I find this brew to be overpriced. Something more in line with most of the Smokestack Series would be fair but this was on par with the Doublwide IPA pricewise. Doublewide delivers on it... the Imperial Pilsner, not so much.

Still... great brewery and a good brew. Looking forward to the second edition in the collaboration series.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caged & Corked 750 batch #1 from 2009 - Hazy lemony yellow with a slight whitish hollow core. Tall and foamy rich white cap lift quickly to top the yellowy mass. Spotty and broken patchy lacing is lightly placed acorss the goblet.

Aroma is a bit light for what most other Imperial Pils may offer, but what is there is a nice blend to some obvious Belgian yeastyness that grabs the idea of a good Belgian Pale. Pretty high on the zesty peel aspect of lemon and some white grapefruit. Floral spices add some spike to it. Could be bolder on both malt and hops though. This seems almost all Golden/Pale Belgian?

Taste is bit light as well. Missing some malt girth and richer, thicker body. Again, more Belgian sided and a bit light with a good dance to some yeasty floralness and spice. But where's the Pilsner side? There's a smidgeon of Saaz in there and some Pale malt dryness and even lighter doughyness. But this comes across for more like a Belgian then a Imp. Pils. Seemingly simple, which is fine, I get the collaboration idea and its a good one, but its not coming across so well in the end result for me.

Body is a lighter medium without much depth. Has a nice sweetness playing underneath as it warms which helps gain some malty weight. Stays mostly floral and dry and stays fairly clean with a certain Belgain zip and flare on the palate that is quite nice. Just lighter then most Imp. Pils. Definately serve warm; recommended around 45 to 40.

Hmmm...wonder if they would've went with calling this a Belgian Pale instead would help me get by the fact that its nothing like the Imperial Pilsner its been labled. Cuz this is nothing like them. Don't get me wrong, this is still a pretty damn good brew and enjoyably drinkable with a simple sublte play of light sweetness and floral dryness.

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Collaboration No. 1 - Imperial Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 192 ratings