Reverb Imperial Pilsner | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
65 Reviews
Reverb Imperial PilsnerReverb Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
With its classic recipe and impeccable craftsmanship, this summer seasonal is a study in delicately balanced contrasts. Up front, Pilsner malt makes a clear yet restrained statement, answered by the steady, harmonious hum of Saaz hops, traces of which linger in the dry, crisp finish.

32 IBU

Added by Reaper16 on 08-18-2012

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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 334
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like the idea of an imperial pilsner, but I haven’t yet tasted one that has justified my excitement for the style. Here’s hoping this is the first.

Brewed in 2012 with a best-by date of “04-2013,” three months after the date of this tasting.

A: Hazy straw yellow pour with the standard puffy pilsner head; this time, though, the foam has no staying power, leaving hardly any lace or retention.

S: Spicy hops in the form of lemon and white pepper, with a hint of ginger toward the end; a mild scent for a style famous for heavy hopping. Malts are in no way primary here, but saltine cracker, French bread crust, and banana aromas emanate a crisp, grainy base below the hops. Where’s the “imperial?”

T: Surprisingly sweet, this palate opens with malty tastes of vanilla cake, buttered bread, hay, and even honey. There’s a slight corn taste to it, too, especially in the front of the palate amidst the malts; thankfully, though, it’s short-lived. The hops are dry, but have enough fruit flavor to make them soapy in their mixture of nectarine pulp, ginger spice, and floral grass flavors. A slight taste of solvent alcohol augments the kick to something a little more intense, pushing the aftertaste to a slightly dry, lingering taste of pepper.

M: Not thin at all – you can tell a lot of malt went into this. And the carbonation is just right for the style, fizzing all the way down, but not in an offensive way.

O: A pilsner with a lot more malt than normal; that’s it. It’s a pretty one-dimensional drink that manages to hit on all the fundamentals of the style, but just barely. For the price-per-ounce, it’s pretty good, but I doubt I’ll get it again.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A - Pours a semi clear yellow with 2 fingers of stark white head. Average rentention and lacing.

S - Lemons, green hay, honey, sweet grains, grassy herbal hops.

T - Lots of sweet pilsner malt, bright lemon citrus, clean grains, grassy hops are spicy with low to medium bitterness, some herbal character as well. Gets slightly doughy as it warms, finishes crisp and dry with some medicinal notes.

M - Moderate prickly carbonation, medium full bodied, crisp and clean finish.

Good stuff. Clean flavors, solid noble hop profile, full pilsner malt backbone, with good carbonation. No alcohol presence with high drinkabilty makes this go down smooth and quick.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2012-1
(Served in a teku)

A- The clear dandelion yellow body has a slow carbonation with a thick bubbly snow white head. The second pour is full on hazy.

S- Herbal Noble hops have a cream aroma to them and are full but very mellow.

T- The big pils malt has a slight sweetness to it that adds to the freshness taste followed by a mellow green Noble hops with a soft dry field corn note in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a great full flavor of Pils malt with just a hint of sweetness to make it fresh and nice full rounded hops without becoming bitey and no sulfur harshness either.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a slightly hazy straw color into the pilsner glass with a nice thick, three fingered white head and lots of bubbly carbonation,

S - Lemons, spicy, mildly earthy, crisp malt aroma.

T - Follows the nose: earthy grassy spice, lemons, light honey, delicate and subtle pilsner malt appears midway through for a brief moment and disappears underneath another wave of grassy grassy spice, and lemons. Finishes with a crisp lemon citrus bitterness that hangs around for a few minutes before slowly fading. The bitter lemon finish leaves a slight tang on the palate. For a big pilsner, the alcohol is not a factor

M - Light medium body, dry and semi-crisp finish, light carbonation pricklies.

O - A nicely done Imperial Pils from Boulevard.

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Photo of beergoot
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light straw body sporting a thick, chunky white head. Soft, grassy hop aroma riding a very light malt scent; slight tang overall. Biscuit-like malt flavor with a steadily developing hop bitterness; alcohol notes are evident but buried in the background of the malt and hop components. Medium-bodied with a crisp, dry finish.

A nicely done imperial pils that keeps the ABV under control while emphasizing excellent pilsner qualities. I see another reviewer called for this to become a regular four- or six-pack release from Boulevard. I second that suggestion...

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Beer Kitchen in KCMO. Poured into a 5 oz. tasting glass.

It pours a deep golden hue, although it's not opaque. Surprisingly clear for an Imp Pils, nothing wrong with that. Looks like a delicious pils. Could have been a little better with the head retention, certainly from an Imp pils.

It smelled of pale malt and noble hops. Not much to say here, however, it smelled great.

I'm not sure I like this being a smokestack. Please, Boulevard, make this a normal 6 packer! I love pilsners, and an Imp Pils is like a special version with even more pale malt and even more alcohol. Super malty, with a tangy hop presence that balanced it out quite well. Very sweet, almost juicy.

Mouthfeel was superb, very soft but not quite imperial. It was a bit light.

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Photo of dwilkins
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale yellow and cloudy - a bit too light for a pilsner. I have the impression that the cloudiness causes it to be more yellow than golden. A white, wispy, but minimal head persists during the entire glass - perfect for a pilsner head.

S - Cream corn with light maltiness coming through. A fault in anything but a pilsner, IMHO.

T - Very clean, very light malt flavor predominates. A little less hoppy than many pilsners. No citrus, fruit, kiwi/schwimi. A pilsner should be cleanly malty and this delivers. No hint whatsoever that it is boozy. I may detect just a bit of mustiness (some Tank 7 funk?).

M - Thick, chewy body as far as pilsners go. This is consistent with what I think I should find in an "Imperial" pilsner.

O - Wonderful. As a pilsner, it is ok. As an imperial pilsner, it is quite delicious and what I imagine it should be. I could easily get carried away with this as it hides its 7.7 ABV well.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch 2012-2. Best by 4-2013.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty but somewhat basic.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip/pokal like style glass. 2012 GABF gold medal winner in the Other Strong beer category. Minor pop off the cork. Batch 2012-2.

This beer is a real looker I think. A gorgeous orb glowing unfiltered lemon and brass like yellow, hints of green edges too. A real nice creamy head forms, wonderful pinhead even bubbles and consistency. Pours about three fingers, and settles slowly, always has a nice collar and even a minimal puck while consuming. This is one impressive looking animal, I am really digging this I could look at it all day, it looks like a killer Belgian pale ale, complete with the microscopic little pinhead bubbles rising up.

Nose is interestingly straightforward and simple. A bit of crisp malt, and some nice grassy hop like action. It's clean, not boozy, not sugary sweet or bursting with alcohol heat. While I like for bigger bread like action this is just simple and solid. Gives no hint a big beer is coming.

Palate hits with a nice simple body. Does not give any hint this is a big beer. Clean crisp malty finish, with grass. A good sense of carbonation that doesn't overpower, but a good non boozy taste. Finishes clean as advertised a little bit of honey. As the beer warms up there is a real nice fruit component to this. Hints of green pear and mild apple come out with a nice mild warmth.

Overall very impressed with this one, lots of fun, and more Boulevard win too.

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Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch Number/Best by date:

A= Pours a nice hazy light yellow color with a nice thick bubbly white head that rises to a finger high and holds great retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Smells like a strong grassy hop aroma with a nice grain and hay character. A little yeasty character to it as well.

T= The taste is a nice light but noticable flavor. A subtle grassy flavor with a nice hay character to it. The flavors are light and subtle but they make i fun and interesting to drink.

M= Highly carbonated.

O= This is a nice subtle beer that somehow works. A great grainy hay flavor and enough hop character to make it interesting. It works and it's tasty. Don't pay an arm and a leg but try this if you like pilsners.

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Photo of tigg924
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at Driftwood Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: grass, grain, and toasted malt

Taste: grass, light honey, some grain, and a decent hop in the middle

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet with a bitter middle, medium carbonation

Overall: I generally do not like this style but like Boulevard so I figured I would give this a try. The problem I have with most versions of the style is that the way breweries imperialize pilsners is by adding massive amounts of hops or alcohol. When that happens, the grassiness and some of the refreshing qualities I like about regular pilsners get taken away. Boulevard is the first brewery I have tasted that still has a lot of the pilsner taste I like in their imperial version. The alcohol is upped, but I do not feel like I am choking on it. This is a very good beer and one I will get again. If I was not grading to style, it is probably closer to a 4, but it blows away every other example I have had in the style.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a hazy straw yellow with 2 fingers of white foamy head which quickly dissipated.
very citrusy - lemon, orange, grapefruit. Bready, with a grassy bitterness in the finish
A very nice mix of tart citrus bitterness reminiscent of a grapefruit. A slight metallic taste in the background, with a sweet malty overtone. Bitter lemon peel type taste in the finish.
medium body, high carbonation, creamy on the lips, smooth and refreshing on the palate. 
a great beer overall, all of the alcohol is masked well by the great flavors. A very refreshing treat for any time of the year.

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Photo of beertunes
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, golden straw color with about an inch of white head that had good retention and light lacing.

There was a strong alcohol scent at the front of the aroma. Under that were some nice grains, but they were fairly buried. The taste was the same, the alcohol completely overpowered the malts and gentle hops.

The body was thick and sticky, exactly the opposite of what you look for in a Pils. Drinkability was OK, but I wouldn't have more than one at time. Overall, a decent, but unspecial, brew. Probably worth a shot if you see it on tap, but I don't about investing in a large format bottle.

I in general find Imperial Pilseners to be a style that's mostly unnecessary. This brew reinforced that opinion.

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Photo of stephens101
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An explosion of bubbles fills the Pilsner glass to the rim and continue unabated, keeping the huge white head in full effect. Color is pale yellow with golden hues. Smells of fresh squeezed lemon, grain and a hint of grass. Not much going on aroma wise. Flavorful light fruits and malt are quickly followed by a subdued hoppiness and an afterthought of caramel. A bit of spice lies underneath it all. Not as dry as expected, and actually has quite a creamy mouth-feel. The alcohol heat tickles the throat. Overall this one is quite balanced and drinkable. And while I'm not the biggest Imperial Pils fan, I'm thoroughly enjoying this one.

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes by way of cpolking, thanks. Poured from a brown 25.4 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit malty, some grains. Taste is the same, malts and grains, some alcohol is present, just a faint touch of hops, a bit mild. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The compared to other stack series is not amazing....however it is still a very smooth beer. The beer poured a bright clear yellow until some settlement interrupted the astetics. The head start nice and bubbly then dissappeared. The smell was grainy with hints of saaz. The taste started sweet then the nice malt/grain balance. The mouthfeel was medium body with smooth carbonation. Overall it was pretty darn good.

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Photo of videofrog
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a a Courage IRS tulip. Bottle indicated Batch 3 from 2012. Best by date of Apr-2013.

A: Clear, light orange with a frothy white head that dissipates quickly.

S: A bit muted, but as it warms up more comes out with a little agitation. Sweet grains and faint lemon/citrus.

T: Spicy hops are there balanced with cracker. Hop bitterness accumulates and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Dry finish. Slight peppery alcohol, but not much.

M: Light bodied and crisp. Carbonation is lively as expected from a pilsner.

O: Wish I had been able to try this a little fresher, but as is I think this is a solid beer, as is every other offering from the Smokestack Series. I like the simplicity of the single hop-single malt recipe. Very refreshing and worth trying.

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Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy straw color (with a slightly green tinge) . Good head that settles slowly and lumpily. Some spots on the glass.

Earthy and sour smell. Little to no hop nose. Some yeast.

The flavor is a dramatic improvement to the smell. Starts with pale malt base (without any graininess). Pleasant hop bitterness balances this. The hop is like mild white pepper--gives a lengthy aftertaste. The body is predictable, the carbonation on the high side.

Overall, this isn't very pilsner-like, and with the muted hop and alcohol, not very imperial. But I would say it is a tasty beer.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P:  Slight hazed effervescent golden straw body with a creamy froth if white head with good retention. 

S:  Pilsner malt, lemon zest, orange peel, Orbit bubble mint gum, up front saaz, lemongrass, fresh grains, honey and acidic phenol aroma.  Refreshing and clean. 

T/M:  Taste follows the nose but is sweeter. Sunny grains, orchard fruit, herbal bubble mint, grapefruit, black pepper, wheat, lemon dish soap, and a balanced acidity.  Carbonated body that tingles the tongue and finishes dry. Lingering grapefruit, sourdough and timid booze.  Once the bottle was gone I had a lingering in my mouth of sharp cheddar. 

O:  I list for this beer. It's so balanced, fresh, and complex all at the same time. This 750 went quick. I want to grab more of this right now. Too bad it's too late. Oh well i can grab more in a few days and you can be sure I will. Stop what your doing and go get Reverb. 

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Photo of hardy008
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a 3 finger foamy white head with good retention and lacing. Smells like lemon, wheat, bread, and noble hops.

Tastes much like it smells, but sweeter than I expected. There is lemon, wheat, bread, noble hops, and some grapes. Sweet with some hops to balance things out.

Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A nice Imperial Pilsner. Worth trying if you have the chance, just like with other beers in the Smokestack Series.

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Photo of bump8628
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear gold with a perfect dollop of pure white foam. Harmony between a soft, clean, elegant graininess and slightly aggressive Saaz. Honey, lemon zest, black pepper, and barley husk. Great balance, which seems to be difficult to achieve in this style. Great flavors, but what really makes it stand out is that the brewers managed to maintain that lean pilsner dryness. Four packs of this would be nice to see in the future

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Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch#2 best by 04-2013

Pours an effervescent gold with 3+ fingers of pearl colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness, soapyness, hay, perfumy notes

T: Follows the nose, nice sweet breadyness, grass & soapyness up front, some lemon & grapefruit. Grapefruit, lemon, dryness & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes dry, with lemons, grassyness & grainy sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, nicely balanced

A ramped up/amped-up version of their Pils with some American influence. I like this, would love to see this out in 4 pack next year

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Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall lager glass at 45 Degrees, Batch #1 of 2012.

Appearance: Pours a clean golden gold body with a white one finger head that dissipates into a ring around the glass and moderate carbonation. A classic looking pilsner.

Aroma: Sharp, toasty pilsner malts, lemongrass, lemon, mild floral hops, dried rice, and that astringency of flavors directly to the nose.

Taste: Right off the bat I get a lot of malt. The grain/malt bill is the star attraction here from beginning to end. The bitter/floral hops are there but very subtle here and I was a little letdown that they weren’t showcased along with the malts. I also get characteristics of wheat, lemon, herbs, corn and rice, a buttery flavor, and that astringency/funk that all pilsners seem to have. I have to state that when I started getting down to the bottom of the bottle, the beer started to change a bit, and the flavors (especially the hops) became a lot more prominent. I enjoyed this the most when I got to the second half of this bottle.

Mouth Feel: Very clean, crisp, refreshing, and very drinkable. The alcohol is well hidden, and the body and carbonation is moderate.

Overall: Pilsners are not one of my favorite styles of beer and I rarely stop and buy them at bottle shops. I have to say that this would be best to have on a hot day sitting on the back porch barbequing and sharing with friends. I did enjoy this, especially when I got to the second half of the 750mL bottle. It was nice to have a hand-crafted pilsner for a change brewed with quality ingredients. This is definitely a giant step over all the other massively produced adjunct brews available out there. I’m a real big fan of Boulevard’s line of Smokestack series beers and I when I heard that they were going to make an imperial pilsner I realized that I haven’t had a craft brewed pilsner yet and I just had to purchase a bottle and give it a chance. This beer was well crafted and moderately well-balanced, and if you a fan of pilsners, I would recommend picking this up while it’s sticking around and still fresh.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Boulevard tulip.

Batch Number/ 2012 - 1
Best By Date: 04 - 2013

A: Pours a nicely hazed pale gold color with 1 1/2 creamy fingers of bright white foam on top. Perfect carbonation and lacing.

S: Bold and bright, lemon-y noble hops take center stage with supporting help from mildly toasted malt. Very crisp and clean. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: See above. Very tidy and tasty.

M: Full and coating. Good staying power. Hints of white pepper in the finish.

O: Glad to see this one hit the shelves again under a different name. I'd love to try this on draft sometime.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a light straw color with a thin white head.

Aroma was malty grains along with white grapes and herbal notes.

The taste was classic pilsner. Herbal notes, malty grains, grass, light white grape and finished with a moderate bitterness.

Clean and crisp mouthfeel and carbonation.

I enjoyed this Imperial Pilsner quite a bit. Will definitely have again.

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Reverb Imperial Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 334 ratings.
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