Family Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday Tradition
Flying Dog Brewery

Family Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday TraditionFamily Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday Tradition
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American Imperial Pilsner
Ranked #53
Ranked #31,561
3.74 | pDev: 9.63%
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Family Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday TraditionFamily Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday Tradition
Notes: Aunt ____ showing pictures of her ____ cats.
Uncle ____ singing songs about his ____ divorce.
Cousin ____ bragging about ____.
And you can't leave. It's another Christmas adventure for the whole family. So, come on. One more. It's a celebration.
Malts: Pilsner
Hops: Saaz
Yeast: German Ale
35 IBU
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 50 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EnderFett11
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured moderately hard from a bottle into a pilsner glass, resulting in a few fingers of head that faded slowly to some lacing. Pale good color, quite easy to see through. Smells of citrus while cold but more spices as it warms. Taste is similar, with a mildly tart citrus flavor while cold, but a more malty/spices heavy flavor (nutmeg maybe) as it warms. Prefer this one warmer myself. Light/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty interesting pilsner and it's not too hoppy, probably will try again.

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Photo of teromous
2.97/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the right side of the label: "FOR OPTIMAL FRESHNESS ENJOY BY: 02.25.20"

Appearance: The body is a light-to-medium gold color with excellent clarity. It has a large fluffy white head with good retention. Camo-pattern lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a very faint aroma of what smells a bit like cream corn and a very remote hint of spicy hop character when inhaling deeply. The aroma is so faint that you are likely to plunge your nose into the beer.

Taste: Up front there is a sweet grain flavor similar to honey oats which is very quickly met with a very strong alcohol flavor. A bitter woody flavor follows at the end. The alcohol character is really strong in this beer and it tastes like somebody dropped a shot of something into your drink. The aftertaste has a vodka-like alcohol flavor. There is a bit of a spicy hop flavor that comes into the aftertaste after a few drinks from this beer.

Mouthfeel: It is a lighter bodied beer with a medium-strength bitterness. The alcohol character is high in the beer reducing drinkability.

Overall: This is a very strange beer because while it doesn't have a lot of aroma or flavor going for it, it definitely delivers on the high alcohol content, boasting "8.4% ALC/VOL" (as indicated by the label). While there isn't enough character to make me want to revisit this, I would still recommend it as a novelty because I think people would have a lot of fun trying this monster out.

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Photo of Lucular
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip pint glass and split with my wife. Sampled along with "No-Filter Nana" and "Wait! I'm Adopted!"

Pours a clear straw yellow with very little head. No retention or lacing. I get that this is higher abv, but that's still disappointing. Flavor is classic pilsner malt and earthy hops with a shot of sweet booze. Not a great beer, but pretty much what I expected. At any rate, definitely not good enough to justify the 8.4% abv.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Flying Dog Brewery "Family Drama"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "FOR OPTIMAL FRESHNESS ENJOY BY: 02.15.19"
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Look: Slightly hazy deep golden body beneath a short head of bright white foam. Good head retention and lacing. As this does not appear to be dry-hopped the haze is a negative.

Smell: Malty, grainy and bready Pilsner malt. Limited hop aroma that suggests floral and spicy notes.

Taste: As the aroma suggests this beer is mainly about the rich, grainy and bready Pilsner malt with just a touch of yeasty fruitiness and a hint of spicy and grassy/floral hops. The alcohol at least is reigned in and just gives the sense of strength that it should have at 8.4% abv. Along with the alcohol a median bitterness (35 IBUs) helps it to finish mostly dry with some of the spicy and floral hops lingering.

Feel: Medium-full in body and a touch dextrinous. Crisply carbonated.

Overall: It's an interesting beer in what it is, being malt forward, and yet it's kind of boring exactly because of that. Had it been even more malty and sweet it might have been more interesting, but it's not, and as such it's a little off-balance. Still, it's certainly not cloying or sticky, and it's drinkable but I doubt that you'd want a second one. It's a shame, just a few more hops for flavor and aroma and a bitterness closer to 50 IBUs could have made it great.

Review# 6,511

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Photo of IronLover
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light yellow in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a short, creamy white foam with medium low retention. Medium bready and pilsner malt aromas. No hop aromas. Medium bodied with medium light carbonation, a light smooth feel and mellow warmth near the finish. Bready and maly flavors followed by light earthy, spicy hops that transition to medium light spicy bitterness. Bready and earthy hop character near the end. Finished cleanly and dryly with light, sweet bready and light earthy hop notes. A malty brew that generally lacked hop character. Great look, feel was okay, bitterness was low, which threw this a bit out of balance. Higher abv was well hidden. This was okay....throw some more hops in the kettle next time.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice aroma of malts, bread, cereal, floral and a little fruity
Taste is very similar, mildly sweet with an equally mild floral hop bite. The higher abv doesn't show up too much and overall it's a very easy drinking beer. It's not perfect but definitely worth a try

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Photo of bluehende
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know what an imperial pilsner should be but this was a sweet mess. The sweetness overcame any pilsner characteristic this could have had. Syrupy

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Photo of MrOH
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear gold, but not much head, shit retention and lace.
Smells very bready, bit of spicy hops
Very spicy hop flavor, caramel hop flavor to go along with the breadiness.
Full bodied. Could've used more carbonation to make it "pop"
Seems like they're halfway there, but then again, most folks would be happy with where they're at.

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Photo of MinerBob
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've had a couple of really good pilsners today but this is the best. Pours what you would think of a pilsner. Smell is crisp beer smell but the flavor is sweet malts with some odd citrus. At 8.4% you can't beat it.

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Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden straw color with less than a half finger of head. The nose has the distinctive smell of pilsner malt but it is not as bold as I would expect for an imperial. The flavor is nicely malty and this offering has a solid full body.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful, crystal clear amber body with a creamy white head supported by lazy bubbles rising all around. Nose is all classic pilsner malt aromas- earth, wet bread, corn, soap. Impressive that such mild aromatics can keep the alcohol I know is in there a secret. The taste is sweet, no doubt thanks to the alcohol. The pilsner flavor has been reduced to pretty much pure soap, but there are some spicy hop notes to distract from this. The body is slick, which isn't really what a pilsner is supposed to be, but it's still light bodied and easy to put down.
For not especially liking pilsners to begin with, and for being especially skeptical of their imperial versions, this was not bad. It had classic pilsner aromas at least, and the body held up well for the nice ABV kick it held (which is a plus in my book), and overall was an enjoyable little brew. Not sure why it's marketed as a holiday beer, but w/e.

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Photo of tone77
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden/copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of mild malts, some sweetness. Taste is malts, alcohol, a touch of sweetness and hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is gold, clear, moderate carbonation, great 1+ inch head with small frothy bubbles, head laces the glass sides.

Smell is great blend of pilsner malt and saaz haps, good grassy hops and lighter grape like sweetness from the malt.

Taste is similar with pilsner malt and the amount leads to a light grape like fruitiness, hops are grassy and fresh, booziness is just not there - great dry fermentation and blended hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp, nothing cloying, maybe some dryness but nothing detracting.

Overall a good beer that fits the imperial pilsner moniker.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite pilsner. Well... imperial pilsner. Pours a deep gold. Aroma is pilsner malts, grass and champagne yeast. Taste is just about the same. Feel is medium with medium high carbonation. Overall...worth a try.

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Photo of nick_perry
2.54/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bouquet is hoppy and has a Champagne yeast character to it. Earthy hop flavor, notes of bread and funky yeast. Overpowering alcohol notes. Being labeled an imperial pilsner, I guess it’s as advertised - a boozy pilsner. I’m not sure it’s for me, though. Either give me a high ABV beer, or give me a pilsner, but don’t combine them. I like beer, and I like sushi, but I wouldn’t want a sushi beer. Some combinations are better left unmade.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had planned to make this my last entry for Merry New Christmas (Eve) Beer Sunday (Week 670), but between a flagging constitution as the day progressed & its relatively high ABV, I decided to hold off until Christmas Day. I really had no idea that I had so many Flying Dog beers in abeyance until I got started, but this is working out nicely.

From the bottle: "Aunt ____ (Name) showing pictures of her ____ (Adjective) cats. Uncle ____ (Name) singing songs about his ______ (Adjective) divorce. Cousin ____ (Name) bragging about _________ (Noun). And you can’t leave. It’s another Christmas __________ (Noun) adventure for the whole family. So, come on. One more. It’s a celebration."

Haha. It is definitely a celebration at this point. This will almost certainly be my one (last) more & then I am retiring for the long winter's nap. The cat is stirring a mouse & wishing me a "Meowy Christmouse." We had a buncha clatter last night as some jagov ran the intersection & got into an accident, but I remained nestled in my bed with my sugarplum.

Clearly, I retired more quickly than intended, but c'est la guerre. I undertook a Feat of Strength to Pop! the cap, but I have neither Grievances to Air nor Family Drama to deal with, so a gentle pour into the awaiting glass was the order of the day. Once more, an in-glass swirl was the order of the day, raising two-plus fingers of foamy, soapy, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with modest retention. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity, prompting a Gelt Gang visit from Croesus, Midas & Mammon. The nose was both malty sweet & Saaz hoppy at once, like an amped up version of a German Pilsner. I say that only because I prefer the Czech style, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Mouthfeel was big, thick & full, like a dollop or scoop on my tongue! I have to admit that it was really well done with the spicy, grassy hops providing a nice counterpart to understated, earthy malts so that it was not a cloying sugary malt bomb as some early examples of this emerging style had been. Done poorly & you might as well be drinking cheap malt liquor out of a 40-fl. oz. bottle. I cannot describe this as being sweet in any way, perhaps a testament to their yeast, perhaps to the interplay between the malts & hops, perhaps a ménage a trois, but no matter. It all added up to being just the sort of thing that I really enjoy. As a young man, I did not understand the difference between "sweet" & "dry", although I heard it bandied about, especially by wine drinkers. Michelob Dry was more appealing to me back then, as opposed to regular Michelob, but it was not until I got into IPAs that I finally realized my affinity. Finish was very dry in this one, probably due to the yeast's work & the cause of its ABV. This last leads me to a caution: it is VERY smooth, easy to drink, with a sneaky pete wallop that hits like an iron fist encased in velvet! It made for a pleasant interlude, but I almost feel like I need to lie down after. Phew! YMMV.

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Photo of BB1313
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 4/23/18. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with great clarity and transparency; bubbles racing upwards; big fluffy eggshell white head that falls leaving leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have your typical pilsener aroma for the most part. Malts and grains are there. Some hints of citrus. The flavors are slightly syrupy, but it's still clean. Some pine resin in the finish. Lemon is there. The spruce comes through, but doesn't dominate. Malts do their thing. Alcohol goes unnoticed for the most part although there's some subtle alcohol notes in the finish. Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very soft and fluffy. It's dangerously drinkable.

This is a solid Imperial Pilsner. It's pretty straightforward and what you would expect from an imperial example of the style. Enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of Spindelphia
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light golden color, good amount of carbonation and a nice thick head from a good pour. Nose has tons of saaz hop presence. Tastes like a pilsner, but bigger, a tad sweeter and less dry. Still recognizable. Smooth drinking pils with a lingering bitterness at the end. Doesn't feel like a 8.4% beer. Oh, it's got some mad libs on it, so that's a slight plus on the look, right?

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Photo of EJMcC
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Light golden, very bright, well carbonated with moderate head retention.

Smell: Strong Noble earthy hops nose, light malt, no detected esters.

Taste: Spicy, herbal hops, sufficient malt backbone to support the hops, hops flavor lingers ( I liked it but I could see it overwhelming after a bit), stands up well to a Thanksgiving meal.

Feel: Good carb., surprisingly light body for an 8.4% beer.

Overall Impression: Definitely not a balanced German beer. Very assertive spicy, earthy, slight floral hops character. This beer reminded me of the limited run India Pale Lager that Flying Dog had at NHC last year with perhaps a slightly different hop charge.

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Family Drama Imperial Pilsner ... and Holiday Tradition from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 50 ratings