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King Pilsner | King Brewery

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56 Reviews
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King PilsnerKing Pilsner

Brewed by:
King Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An authentic Czech-style Pils Lager brewed with only 100% imported Bohemian malts, Saaz hops and a true strain of Czech yeast.

King Pilsner is bright golden coloured, full-bodied beer with a refreshing taste. It delivers a soft texture, complimented by the proper balance of malt and Saaz hops. Its flavour begins with a pleasing malty taste, imparts a dry bitter tang, and finishes very cleanly. Consumers are quoted saying “there is not a beer in Canada that tastes like King Pilsner”, and “this beer tastes like the true Pilsners in Europe”.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-06-2003

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 99
Photo of ritzkiss
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from the rapidly disappearing six-pack, bought from the LCBO.

Pours a crystal clear light to medium golden with a hint of copper, a couple fingers of head build and then leave small patches of lacing down the glass.

Nose reveals a bold biscuity malt, a hint of soapy lemon and a dash of lovely Saaz hops.

This is a top-notch pils. Clean biscuity malt that is perhaps a level heftier than many in the style, a hint of soapy lemon, a slight spiciness, a slight floral sweetness, a very balanced and yet sharp grassy bitterness, dry clean finish, clean crisp carbonation. My only wish would be to raise the bitterness a notch to Prima Pils levels but in all honesty, it's probably not necessary.

This is incredibly drinkable, very clean and flavorful. I love me a good pilsner and this is one of the best out there.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really a big fan of the pilsner style, and so I was looking more forward to trying King's Dark Lager than I was their pils. That said, when it came down to it, I'd heard enough good things that I bit the bullet anyway. Most of the pilsners that I do really enjoy are European, and King has been described as a very accurate interpretation of a European pils - so here goes nothing.

There's nothing spectacular about the pour or appearance, but that's because we're all so used to hazy, yellow-ish beers. This one pours nicely, though, a s lightly darker yellow (hazy straw-apple-juice?), and is topped by a nice, vibrant two fingers of head with decent retention and gobs of lacing. Carbonation isn't too visibly intense. This looks better than most light-coloured beers, but doesn't get my engine revved quite like a stout. Still, for the style, it's more-than-respectable.

Nose is nice. From the moment I started the pour I was getting big whiffs of Saaz hops and dried, biscuity malt, with maybe even a touch of indistinct fruit. A closer inspect reveals an assortment of grassy, rural-type notes - grass, hay, a faint spiciness, again just touches of that fruit. Oddly, though, every couple minutes, the smell just dies for me and I have to swirl and take huge sniffs to pick up anything. Flowers. Dry grain. Again, the pils isn't really my style, but quite respectable, and comparable with many European varieties that I've enjoyed in the past.

Taste is more of the same. Starts off malty and a little sweet; as it sits on your tongue, the bitterness and hop character grows, asserting itself with hints of grass, hay, and flowers. Seems to be quite a back-and-forth between the malt and hops, though the bitterness ultimately wins out. Some citrus notes, finishing bitter with a mingling bready maltiness and grassy, citrus-y hops. As it warms, however, the beer becomes somewhat less palatable (and in this respect, I have to go against BA wisdom, if only for this particular brew). Not bad, all in all, and a good try at the style that shows respect for the originals.

Mouthfeel is a touch overcarbonated, even though it doesn't appear to be based on looking at the glass. The body, however, feels quite good - substantial without being too heavy. I'm not so sure about drinkability, though: this is bitter enough (without a sweet counterpoint) that I'd be done (or craving some water) after only a couple.

That said, it's certainly worth a try. And my mixed-feelings are perhaps more reflective of how I feel about pilsners in general than about King Pilsner in particular. A good interpretation of the style, however I grade it, and worth a try.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Received from liamt07 in a recent trade (September 2010).

The beer is pale yellow color, almost golden. Nice white foamy head. The head is similar to a cloud. The aroma's intensity is medium. Cereal and malts. The taste is malty with a nice bitter finnish. A little bit thin in the mouth, feels almost like water. Very refreshing and well balanced. Quite easy to drink too. A nice beer on its own. I like it. Cheers Liam!

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Photo of TheHammer
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Barley even a finger of head on the pour and it did not retain at all and barely produced any lace. The body has slow, steady carbonation and a golden bronze colour that has a small degree of haze to it that doesn't quite fit the style.

Smell: An undertone of sweet bread dough and malt backs up a nice floral and grassy hop bouquet. There also a slight citrus note between orange and lemon that I'm picking up on.

Taste: Starts mild as a doughy taste with a slight touch of malt is accented by a slight spicy hop note, it builds up slightly more but not too much as the beer has a very clean and crisp taste to it as it rounds itself off with a second, slightly strong spicy hit of grassy and floral hops.

Mouthfeel: The beer is clean and crisp throughout the entire experience, but that being said there is a odd big lack of carbonation making the beer has a undesirable flat texture to it. The transitioning is great, and the mild hop aftertaste doesn't cling very much.

Drinkability: This might seem like an odd comment, but drinking this beer leaves me with a crispier sensation then eating a salad. It's pretty much as far as you can push light bodied towards medium and it settles exceptionally well.

Final Thoughts: All the beers I've tried from King have been excellent, and while this is probably the weakest link, it's still one of the best Pilsner's in Canada. If they fix the carbonation, and I'd say it is probably the best. I honestly feel bad that King doesn't appear as successful or widely distributed then it currently is. This one steps up to the plate where it really matters and I could drink this all day as a stand alone drinker or with spicy food because of it's cleansing crispness. Thumbs Up

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and golden with a decentish amount of head.

Smells of noble hops, floral and...yeah. I reckon it smells like it should. Saaz, saaz and more saaz with just a hint of saaz.

Tastes of floral and bitter hops with just enough malt presence to make it work. The hop bitterness is a tad on the metallic side. It's a really good pilsener...but where it stands up to its peers is mostly in its freshness. It lacks the skunkiness that so many others have. A very authentic example of the style.

Mouthfeel is light-ish and crisp.

This is a wonderful beer to drink on a hot day.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can into nonic pint. a 4-digit code near the top of the can reads "3281" and i have no idea what this means

a: transparent pale yellow with two fingers of off-white head. typical pils

s: not a lot going on here. sweet grassy malts, touches of apple, and that's about it. it's good though

t: dough-y, bready malts. grassy and slightly floral. shy apple and lemon notes. a more-than-mild-but-less-than-moderate bitterness dries it all out. clean and very tasty

m: light mouthfeel with an appropriate medium-ish carbonation

o: a flavour-packed pilsener that goes down really easily. the nose is a bit lacking but that won't stop me from having this a lot more in the future

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Photo of ludachris
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear bright golden hue with about a finger of whispy egg white head that quickly falls to a ring, leaving spots of lace.

The appearance is somewhat disappointing and comparable to a standard adjunct, but the nose really separates it from that class with fresh notes of doughy bread, a kick of chewy floral hops, and that classic dose of orange zestyness. Simple but very inviting.

Doughy through and through with a streak of citrus zest in the back that is quickly subsumed by an almost pungent fresh floral hop character that really lingers.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with its weight coming from the doughy malts and bitter floral hops. The latter provides a dry and refreshing finish. Drinkability is great and well suited for the summer months.

Overall, a great Czech pilsner. It sticks to tradition but really emphasizes and pronounces each characteristic while managing to keep itself well balanced and highly drinkable. This leaves me excited to try more of their offerings. Thumbs up. Another solid brew from Ontario.

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Photo of cratez
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle from a 6-pack purchased at the Cooper Street LCBO in Toronto, ON. Currently ranked as the 9th best Czech Pilsner on BA.

A: golden yellow in colour with one finger of bubbly white head. Strands of lacing wrap around the pint glass.
S & T: honey sweetness, oats, toasty, doughy and grainy malts, funk, mild grassiness, wheat cereal, spicy Saaz bitterness on the tongue, somewhat soapy aftertaste. A very true-to-style pils.
M: crisp, medium, lots of bite, nice hop tang, dry and lingering finish.
D: the standard by which other Ontario pilsners are evaluated, but I personally prefer more hops. Having said that, King's version is an accurate and respectable take on the style, and I'll happily buy this whenever I'm looking for a tasty, quaffable lager.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow and light golden colour, soapy white head rises and falls leaving an etched surface. Solid ring, some slippery lace, medium carbonation, bubbles a bit larger than I prefer. Grassy, skunky smell rings true to the Czech style, hoppy . Taste is sharp and crisp, nice bitterness, dry with huge malt aftertaste that lingers. Light to medium body, I've heard some say this might be the best Ontario brewed pilsner and I think you could make an argument that it's among them. Classic pilsner, nicely done, I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of funkengruven
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a standard pilsener yellow-orange, slightly cloudy with tons of lacing, smell is clean, hoppy, quite fresh. Flavor has a pretty decent hop character, some malty undertones, but flavor is almost entirely hops.

This surprisingly is quite smooth if drank ice cold. as it warms the hops bring in an agressive bitterness that is not unpleasant, especially if you like bitter beers. Overall I'd say this is a very good attempt at the style.

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Photo of fostachild
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a very light yellow/golden colour. tons of foamy head that leaves behind a nice lacing.

smell is strong, grainy, bit of hops.

taste is also grainy and has a malty sweetness to it. also has a nice slight bitterness. very well carbonated.

overall a solid pilsner, pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle procured for me from the brewery by pootz, thanks so much! Poured into a pilsner glass.

3/4 inch of cap on a hazey golden brew, very mild carbonation and some nice sticky lace. In the nose there's some subtle peppery notes, some lovely cherry-blossom aroma, and an tart apple smell. Grass and a little bit of damp cellar as well.

Taste is a bit nutty, with a spicy pepperiness in the front. Light malt sweetness, apple-like, lots of grassy and floral notes, and a very forward bitterness that leaves you craving the next sip. Aftertaste is full of the spicy and floral Saaz flavour that I certainly crave from time to time. This is a well-balanced pilsner, very enjoyable, and has a lot of flavour going on. Mouthfeel is nice an soft but finishes good and dry thanks to the generous hop profile. Carbonation is mild and undistracting. A solid pilsner, one I'm thankful to have had, and one I'll seek out on tap when I'm in Southern Ontario again.

 966 characters

Photo of bryehn
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical golden colour, maybe a bit on the pale or watery side. A sizable frothy white head lasts for a few minutes leaving some minor lace and a collar.

Grassy, grainy aroma. Floral notes, some soap and a faint honey sweetness. Wet, sweet malts start to come through about halfway through the glass.

Nice crisp, clean taste with a sweetness coming through on the tongue. Dry aftertaste. Simple, but clean and inoffensive.

Very light-bodied with a medium carbonation. Goes down very easily, maybe a bit watery on the back end. Very clean though.

Not a bad effort at all and one of the better Ontario-brewed pilsners I've had. Very nice as an "ice cold on a hot day" beer, but lost something when I tried it with a couple meals.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light, clear golden pour with a small white head and lots of bubbly carbonation going on.

Smell: a lightly hoppy nose with plenty of light floral notes.

Taste: very clean body with a medium hop bitterness on the finish. nice lingering hoppiness and grainy notes. slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: mostly smooth, creamy body with an off-dry finish.

Drinkability: a very smooth and easy drinking beer. reminds me of Mill St Organic Lager....although it's been awhile since i've had that one. still, for a real pilsner have an Urquell, Czechvar or Kozel.

 568 characters

Photo of Mit
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-pours a nice golden clear with a decent head.

s-Nice yeast notes present in a normal pilsner. Crisp smell similar a cider.

t-malty but nicely balanced by hopes. The bready notes are def present.

m-perfect for the abv.

d-oh pretty drinkable. I will def be buying this again.

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Photo of Kremlock
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a creamy bubbly head. Straw colour with hints of orange with a slight haze to it. none to low lacing

S: Lemon and cut grass with a hint of grain and spiciness

T: Spicy (Czech hops), a bit grainy/bready,

M: Creamy on the palate, crisp flavour, perfect carbonation (IMO)

O: This pilsner has a great flavour with an appealing aroma. The crispness of it makes it a great beer to have when needing something to cut through cheese or strong flavours.

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Photo of Voonder
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks bobsy for this one!
Pours clear light yellow with white head. Smell - malts, spices, floral hops. Nice clean smell. Very good. Taste - bitter at first, than sweet honey notes, malty all the way through, finishes semi-dry. Very light, clean and refreshing. Great beer. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of MattyV
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty spot on for a pils--crystal clear golden colour, thin white head with average retention/lacing. Sweet grains, grass, mineral water, and a faint hit of Saaz hops make appearances in the aroma department. Picking up some sweet bready malt up front with a tiny bit of grassy/spicy hop flavour. Mild bitterness with a crisp finish. Light and lively mouthfeel. This by no means blew me away but am glad I finally gave it a shot, would make for a fantastic quaff in the dead of summer.

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Photo of ssmack
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light honey colour with lemon highlights. An inch and a half of fine white head. Some carbonation that lasted well. Great lacing and good retention.

Mild halty hoppy goodness in the aroma. Hine of caramel and steely Czech hops.

There is more going on in the taste than in the aroma. Complex. Steely hops at the front end. Base of slight sweet grainy algs. Chzech hops throughtout. Ends in a strong grassy bitter aftertaste.

Medium feel. Very good for a pils.

This is an extremely well-made pilsner. There is enough flavour for even this committed ale drinker. Much more flavour that most North American caft pils.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking to try this one for quite some time, just never got around to it.

Served from a 341ml brown bottle into a pilsner glass. BB 11 18 2008.

A- Clear gold with foamy head that dissipates quickly leaving some blobs of lace on the glass.

S- Quality pale pilsner malts, melted butter, saaz hops smell pretty good in this pils.

T- Sweet malts up front with flavors of bread and butter, countered by some real nice Saaz hops which lend a nice grassy, bitterness and perfect balance in this solid pilsner.

M- is light in body with great carbonation. Very clean mouthfeel.

D- Low ABV and outstanding flavor can only equal one thing>>>Session Brew.

Overall this is one of (if not) the best example of a Czech Pilsner in Ontario. You can tell that there is a dedicated brewmaster behind this.

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Photo of tatterdash
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As an avid ale man, but wanting to be a proper 'beer guru', I have been looking for a good lager. I have always been fascinated by Pilsners for some reason and I think I have found the one I like the most.

Appearance: Attractive label, I like the green. Poured into a clean pilsner glass, minimal head that dissolved very quickly but I believe it is due the fact I served it very cold, it usually has more head than this. Colour is a golden yellow-orange with a tinge of green, and it is crystal clear. A bit of effervescence.

Smell: Strong hops, but not over-powering. Definitely said "drink me".

Taste: Ahha! Hops all around, definitely crisp, not too bitter, with a very long finish. Very refreshing, probably due to the soft water it is made with. I found it very difficult not to pound this back. Despite the low amount of head this pilsner manages to lace a fair amount, with is good. Very consistent, no new favours appeared as it warmed.

Mouthfeel: Gets rather bitter in the mouth, but was not overly carbonated which helped and didn't get unbearably bitter. Still, I think this might be this lager's weak point.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day, and I probably will as I have three more.

 1,220 characters

Photo of OttoBomb
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 fluid oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (January 5, 2010). No best before info on bottle or box. This came as a Christmas gift from my brother, thanks Roger!

Eyes: Pours a clear, crisp gold, zero haze. One finger fluffy head with minimal lacing.

Nose: A healthy Saaz hops aroma dominates up front with a nice sweet malt undertone.

Tongue: Starts with nice toasty, sweet malt flavor. The crisp hop flavours follow, with notes of citrus, grain, and hints of florals and grass. As expected from the style, it has a crisp bitter aftertase, but it works well.

Mouth: The carbonation is very low. Even with the bottom of my glass laser etched, very few bubbles are produced. Despite this the mouthfeel is still moderate and crisp.

Libation: What can I say? It's a very good Pilsner in all respects. The expected Pils bitterness is very well balanced and tasty. The flavor is forward but doesn't overwhelm. I'll try to drink a few of these each time I'm in Ontario.

 986 characters

Photo of JustinBathurst
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, clear golden yellow with a nice head.

Aroma is a swath of cut grass--hops, indeed--and a bit of apple.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with well-balanced carbonation.

Taste is a wallop of bitter that washes back into a nice finish with an aftertaste of bitter that lingers just long enough. It's nice to have a fresh pilsner. So often the imports are a gamble--will they or won't they be skunked...? So, a lovely brew that I think I'll be enjoying as long as I'm in Ontario.

 494 characters

Photo of jbonapar
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never really a huge fan of Pilsner's but I heard great things about this, so tried it!

Poured a soft, slightly haze light gold. Nice creamy head. Very minimal aroma. Perhaps just a touch from the Saaz hops.

Taste is nice, crisp, dry with mild bitterness. Creamy with an enjoyable subtle spiciness.

I actually like this, i could drink a few of these on a hot summer day with some BBQ ribs int he backyard for sure. Nice.

 424 characters

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 473ml can, poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear golden straw colour with 2 fingers of white head. Head dissipates quickly, leaves behind some lose lacing. Some carbonation is visible.

Smell - Light apple, lots of pilsen malts. Sweet grass and floral bits

Taste - Green apple here again. Sort of odd. Also quite a bit of grass and grains.

Mouthfeel -Light body, moderate carbonation, crisp finish.

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King Pilsner from King Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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