Piercing Pils | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Piercing PilsPiercing Pils

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Perry-Pils hybrid, Piercing Pils is a Czech Style Pilsner brewed with a White Pear Tea and Pear juice. Both the juice and the tea were added in the kettle during the whirlpool (after the boil) for maximum flavor and aroma contribution. The Pear fruit complexity pierces right through the spicy Czech Saaz hops beautifully, adding a gentle acidity to this pale lager that makes for a crisp refreshing sipper. Amarillo hops add nuanced citrus notes that meld perfectly with the fruit.

Added by Slatetank on 08-19-2013

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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 1,497
Photo of DagenhamDavis
2.28/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think I must have gotten a bad bottle. This was just awful. Starts off skunky, and finished with a overpowering metallic and bitter (not hoppy, but acrid) taste. I wanted to like this, but that finish will haunt me for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.29/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

First had: on tap at DFH, Rehoboth Beach, DE

I have no strong love for pilsners, but when done right, I have no problem drinking one, and the prospect of a pear pils intrigued me. Poured a crystal clear, light golden color, with a thin white head that fizzled out completely, leaving no lacing behind. Pretty blank aroma, thin crackery malts, grains, distant herbal hops. Very disappointingly simple taste of toasted grains, and bitter herbal hops. Absolutely no pear whatsoever, and if it was in there, the graininess totally overpowered it. If it were an old dusty bottle, I'd expect something like this, but this was right out of the tap from the source. Light body, light mouthfeel, lasting bitterness. Pretty unpleasant. Really glad I only got a sampler of this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.29/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I figured I would give this one a shot, since I was able to buy a single bottle. I really enjoy a good pilsner.

The beer is golden hued and clear with a small white head. The aroma is grain, alcohol, pear, apple, sweetness. The flavor is simply disappointing. A sweet, corny mess. Another gimmicky, weird beer from Dogfish Head. How about making a quality beer instead of some whacky, one of a kind mess with unusual ingredients? Unique does not equal good. Lacking the qualities that make a pils beer refreshing, quaffable. No thank you.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hazy copper yellow. Some malt sweetness and barley on the aroma. There is something very wrong with the aftertaste. Muddled copper or metallic flavor and almost a skunky finish (makes no sense considering it's on tap): stay away.

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Photo of tumblingpenguin
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I really didn't like this beer. It was probably the pear that made it so bad. It presented to me as something gone wrong. It looked beautiful but smelled and tasted bad.

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Photo of Fergyx825
2.69/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: A light amber gold color to it with some bubbling. Medium to light head on the pour for the beer. This is just as described by the IPA description of such beers.

Smell: smells a lot lighter than most beers, not so floral or hoppy as the rest have smelled. Smells a lot like a bud light. Kind of turned off by the smell of this beer.

Taste: A more fruity taste to this beer. The pearish taste comes out in this beer, but it does not resemble a IPA what so ever. I do enjoy the fruity taste of this beer, but it doesn't belong to this beer style.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation with a light thickness makes this a drinkable beer, but its nothing to brag about, and a let down from DogFish.

Overall: Not a pale ale. Not a bad beer, but not as described.

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Photo of Oliver_Twist
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Semi-clear light yellowish color with moderate head, quickly fades to a thin cap.

S: Pilsner malt, very slight pear, slightly skunky, grassy, dish soap.

T: Pilsner with pear juice.

M: Light bodied with moderate to low carbonation.

O: Complex would be a good description if you like the mix of pilsner malt, pear juice, Saaz hops and dish soap. Lawnmower beer? ...not at this price. I won't be having this beer again.

I gave it a 2.75 only because I like DF90, DF60 and Burton Baton so much and because everyone (including Sam) makes mistakes every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Urk1127
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Pilsner glass. Finger of head. Very light clear yellow. Smell is sharp a little pear and hops and yeast. High carbonation maybe too much. Very harsh and bubbly going down. Tart bitter pear. I did not like the tartness and was too much carbonation made my stomach and chest feel bloated and bubbly.

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Photo of zapahoppa
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Uneventful. Watery with light carb. Low head retention. Hardly any pear. Probably one of the most dissapointing dfh beers I've had, and I mostly love their beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle from Whole Foods.

Clear yellow with a white head with good retention and lacing, this looks decent. The nose is a muddled blend of stale, doughy malt, pear juice and a tannic tea note. The palate opens mildly sweet and doughy, a little fresher than the nose, with a delicate touch of lemony hops. This is before the sweetness and fruitiness if pear juice, and a weird, tea like flavor come thru. Doughy, disjointed on the finish, this beer it's medium light in body, moderately carbonated and is a but of a mess. Minus the pear adjuncts, this would be a solid beer, but with them?blech!

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Photo of Guppy314
2.87/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

True as advertised, there is a definite taste of Pears (from, they say, "White Pear Tea" & "Pear juice"), but it doesn't have the sweetness of a juice. Using pears is a novelty that comes off decently well, but I can't say I'm a fan. Still it's a refreshing Summer beverage.

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Photo of American_Mike
2.92/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am a fan of Dogfish Head in general although I usually go the route of their IPAs. However I decided to give their Piercing Pils a go. This pilsner is definitely a golden orange color. It would be more translucent than transparent due to the slight cloudy nature in sunlight. It comes with a slight sweet fruity smell in which you can pick up the light smell of malt. When sipped it had a light but slightly syrupy feel. It states out tasting sweet but picks up bitterness as it approached the back of the tongue. It is accompanied by a bitter aftertaste that lingers on the back roof of the mouth. Overall this is not a bad beer but I have experienced better from Dogfish Head. If you get a chance give it a try!

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Photo of Immortale25
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at the Rehoboth Beach Brewpub. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a clean dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam.

S- Soap...literally just soapy water.

T- Good thing it doesn't really taste like soap. Crisp pilsner flavor with a small hop bite and soft malt. Very drinkable but there is soap in the aftertaste. No pear flavor to speak of.

M- Like in the taste, crisp and bright with medium carbonation and a light body. Probably the only correct part of the beer.

O- Big letdown. No pear and only above average for a pilsner. I even poured the beer into a previously used glass to make sure it's the beer and not the glass that tastes like soap.

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Photo of mactrail
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Hazy yellow-gold in the tall Saxo tulip. Modest foam and plenty of spritz on the tongue. Pleasant fruity aroma with a whiff of apple and pear.

Some fruit taste with a little sweetness to start. Modest warm flavor of malt and more graininess. Dries out quickly. Quite bitter long before the aftertaste. It does taste like black tea, only long over-steeped. Maybe some pear skins and fruit tannin, like grape stems. Slightly tangy with some burnt biscuit taste.

This has a promising start but a bitter finish. From the 12 oz bottle bought at La Bodega Wines & Spirits in Riverside, Calif.

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Photo of Nickcal
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Disappointed once again by this style of beer. I cannot give a truly good opinion because I just am not a fan of pilseners. For me they lack depth and character with smell and taste. Sorry Dogfish Head love you guys, nothing personal, just not a fan of the style.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottled on 2013C at 50 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma light flowery hops, maybe some fruit
Head large (6 cm), white, creamy with rocks, slowly diminishing into an uneven layer ranging from 3 – 0 mm thick
Lacing fair
Body light yellow, hazy
Flavor begins with very slight hop bitterness, quickly becoming slightly sweet. No alcohol, no malt, no diacetyl, just a strange somewhat metallic aftertaste.
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation soft

A nice looking beer, unfortunately not tasting as good as would be expected by the appearance. The pear juice makes it sweeter but doesn’t make it better. Despite the hype associated with this pils, it’s nothing special, somewhat below average, IMHO. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to this beer. Just because you can add something to a beer, it doesn’t mean you should.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is fairly muted but you can pick up some of the pear & tea, though not sure it is a combo I loved. Taste is clean & pretty straightforward with some golden & pale malt, a hint of peppery spice and muted hops. The peach is there too but I lost the tea, peach is more of a dry rind flavor, which probably mixes better with the style that some sweet fruitiness. Good

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Photo of LarryV
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I always feel like I'm taking a risk when I buy a Dogfish Head beer. This sounded promising but ends up missing the mark for me. It doesn't have the crispness that I expect from a good pilsner and has an odd bitterness to the aftertaste, perhaps that's due to the pear, it doesn't seem like hop bitterness. All in all it's an okay beer but I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass. "Bottled on 2013C 1655."

A: Light head fades fast and tops a (very lightly) hazy pale gold beer.

S: Skunk. Hint of grain. Lightly sweet.

T/M: Oh yum. It's fruity-sweet, likely from all the pears. I guess maybe the tea adds an interesting complexity to the bitter finish (or maybe that's the bourbon by). Full and impressively lush-bodied. Well-carbonated. Lagery yeast still creeps through, and I still don't care for it.

O: A good effort, but still not for me. There's plenty of people I'd recommend it to, but I wouldn't have another. Continued props to DFH.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is light fruit, light hops, Clear Golden color. Creamy White head is lasting. Taste is tart pear. The pear pretty much dominates. Touch of hoppy aftertaste that fades to hair spray pretty quickly.Feel is creamy up front with nice carbonation underneath.

Not bad. I feel like the pear doesn?t quite fit this beer. Maybe with something stronger like an ipa or an apa, it would not take over as much. Still above average.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Dogfish Head is not normal. Coffee in stouts, 18% ABV fruit beer, and now pears in pilsner?! Only from Delaware! Here's 12 ounces, and on to the beer I go:

A half-inch of foam leaves a few rings of lace around the glass, while below is the color of fading orange which I suspect is looking to transform into yellow. The nose hits a bump with wet cardboard, followed by decent Saaz hop notes and sweet tea. Hoping that cardboard fades away.

So much for the pear and pear tea. I can't find much of either, and at the base is a "plain" pilsner with a small bite of hops. Quite clean overall. It rides along a light/medium body with a somewhat crisp carbonation.

Sometimes they hit the target, and sometimes they hit the target intended for the other person. Mediocre is what it is to me.

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
3.22/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apple juice colored, without much of a head. This is my first pilsner. Has a distinct aroma, somewhat skunky. Hoppy, carbonated, with a little bit of sweet fruit and that same distinct taste as the aroma. Overall not bad, but not quite as flavorful as I would hope.

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Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

nice yellow-gold color with a nice white head. smell is sweet with some citrus and bread. The taste has some sweet, some hops and is crisp and clean with plenty of carbonation. The flavor is bold and leaves you with a satisfied feeling after drinking

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Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with spare label art and a branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local H-E-B grocery and served into a Pinthouse Pizza conical pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the description on the label, which makes the beer sound nice for a Dogfish Head offering. 6% ABV confirmed per the label. "Bottled on 2013F 1429." Reviewed as a Czech Pilsner because the label identifies it as such.

Served cold - at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness. Okay creaminess. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent transparent pale yellow-copper of excellent clarity and average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a pretty standard appearance for a beer in this style. There are no obvious flaws, but it's far from unique or special.

Sm: Definitely smells like a pilsner. Pilsner malts, clean barley, Saaz hops, floral hop character, plenty of grains, straw, and faint fruit. It's a pleasant aroma of moderate strength, but I don't pick up on specific pear juice or pear tea notes. The fruitiness is quite timid, and I can't identify pear specifically. It's certainly on the sweet side for a pilsner, but at the same time seems overhopped. I've never experienced Saaz as overt as this.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

T/Mf: It's got a bit of overcarbonation and comes across nicely crisp, if a biteen biting. It's smooth and wet on the open but soon takes on an unbecoming coarse and dry feel that persists until the finish. In any case, it still feels refreshing. Medium bodied, with a bit too much weight on the palate for a pils. Overall, it has a decent presence on the palate and the texture suits the taste generally well.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or chewy.

Not as sweet as the aroma suggested, fortunately. The core of the beer is pretty standard - pilsner malts, clean barley, and prominent Saaz hopping. But there's also some subtle sweetness and vague fruitiness - it's not identifiably pear, but it's pleasant and complements the rest of the flavour profile well. I don't get any tea notes.

The hops fit the malts nicely, and the subtle fruitiness lends it a bit more depth of flavour than most pilsners feature. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

This is a tasty pilsner with some likable elements. The pear isn't as in-your-face as I anticipated, and Dogfish Head has delivered a beer that actually has some subtlety and nuance to it. Complexity and intricacy are above average for the style.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I could easily plow through a four pack of this and would enjoy doing so. The price point is unreasonable, though, and I couldn't see myself buying this again as a result. It's one of Dogfish Head's more carefully considered beers, but the cynic in me is thinking the lack of overt pear was less a decision than a mistake. In any case, while it's not up there with the best traditional examples of the style, it remains a tasty American attempt at a pils that sacrifices tradition for a bit more depth of flavour. I'll be sticking to Pilsner Urquell in the future, but this is enjoyable stuff.

Low B-

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Photo of btheluvdoctor
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I expected more pear flavor in this one. I think the caramel undertones overpowered the pear. Nice color & aroma. I'll give this one another try to win me over.

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Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,497 ratings.
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