Steam Whistle Pilsner | Steam Whistle Brewing

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Steam Whistle PilsnerSteam Whistle Pilsner

Brewed by:
Steam Whistle Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We believe that world-class results require focus and dedication, so we developed a distinctive recipe for our single brand based on Europe's renowned brewing standards yet is brewed fresh locally at our independent, Canadian Brewery.

We use traditional brewing techniques and only four natural ingredients including spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast - all GMO-free. There is a fifth ingredient in every refreshing bottle, and that is the passion of our dedicated Brewmaster and staff.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2002

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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 432
Photo of tomghiley
1/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

looks like water, smells like a skunk, tastes like it smells, feels like drinking skunk water.

I will say this, to be fair, in a can or on draft, it scores a 0/5, in a bottle, it's at least a 1/5, for a Canadian pilsner, I'll take a King, or Collingwood pilsner any day over this, or Sawdust City's Little Norway, 3 far superior pilsners.

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Photo of box299
1.75/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I do not understand the fascination with this beer. Locals in Toronto all point to it as an exemplary craft beer. I find it barely drinkable. I think I heard a story that the owner of the brewery is a local celebrity. I also think he came from one of the major breweries.

If I didn't really want a beer on my Porter flight back to Chicago, I would never touched the stuff in the first place. thinking that it might have been in a bad mood that day, I ordered one up to give it a second chance. I was right in the first place. This is NOT a good representation of a growing craft beer scene in Ontario. It's a shame that government controlled monopolies get in the way of opportunities for consumers to try new beer. This is also a poor example of a Pilsner. You are just as good drinking an AB-InBev product like labatt blue.

feel: leaves an unpleasant after taste
taste: no real hop taste and very light malt

thank goodness the Porter light isn't very long.

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Photo of Shiloh
2.05/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not acceptable...Sorry but I did not care for this brew as it left me hops in evidence here and the sweet malty taste carried through into the after taste...the packaging was probobly its strong point and that reminded me of a circus clown of low character..

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Photo of DrJay
2.07/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pale straw yellow colour with brilliant clarity and a thin white head that showed some lacing. The aroma was packed full of DMS, vegetal sweetness and sulfury hops. Veggie sweetness carried into the flavour. Bitterness was much harsher than it should have been, given the moderate hopping level. Light body, high carbonation. Not an impressive offering, at least to my palate.

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Photo of cyrenaica
2.08/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well, I'm not sure what to say about this beer. I was introduced to this beer by a friend who brought it to our 20th anniversary hockey pool (He's not invited back btw).

There was very little aroma in my opinion and very little flavour. The colour was a very weak translucent yellow. What little aroma there was slightly grassy. The mouthfeel was slightly watery, but with enough carbonation to save it. The taste was very weak in my opinion for a beer labelled as a pilsener.

Working a short distance from the brewery itself (the old roundhouse at Toronto's Union Station houses the brewery today) and having watched it being built I was excited to try this beer. Needless to say the lack of aroma and flavour were very disappointing.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
2.25/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle that reminds me of some old school soda pop bottles I've seen. Served chilled in a glass.

Appearance: Pale straw color topped by a smallish white head that quickly dissipates to a film. No lacing is left.

Smell: Grassy hop aromas with some mild graininess. Not an overly strong nose, to say the least.

Taste: Light cereal malt with a clashingly vegetal hop finish, almost sulfury.

Mouthfeel: Very light in body, too light, if you ask me.

Drinkability: Pilsener does not equal watery, light, and fizzy. Clashing tastes and no body make for a bad beer experience.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I seem to recall when this beer was first made available that there was a lot of hoopla. The brewery publicized that they only made one beer but they made it well and a fair number of folks have told me the same thing. Having said that, I've never particularly cared for it although I'll try to be objective given my decision to finally review it.

Pours a clear yellow with a short-lived white head. A few bubble streams on one side of the glass, we soon are left with a ring and not much else. Lace is scarce to non-existent although in fairness a quick swirl regenerated some head throughout.

Smell is malty, soda biscuit, wet grass and marsh, a typical pilsener lager aroma in some respects but just not very pleasant. Taste is sharp and dramatic, loaded with malt it seems to me - but lacking in flavour. Hop character missing in action, not enough to make it interesting or round it out. Mouthfeel dry and thin, lacks hoppy presence, malty aftertaste. Body is lacking even considering the style. Refreshment value compromised by a heavy corn finish, taste is a bit heavy but not in a good way.

Altogether, this is simply not to my tastes; with apologies, I doubt I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Very pale yellow with a nice little head that quickly dissipates.
Aroma - Bready malt aromas with a touch of hops. Not much going on here, really.
Flavour - Bready, sweet, only the slightest note of hops, not enough bitterness to balance it out. Mediocre at best.
I have enjoyed this on tap in the past, so either it is not as good in the can or my palate has improved.

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Photo of andrwjedi
2.47/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured little to no head in part because I noticed "debris" in the liquid. Poured remaining beer into a seperate glass. Looked like yeast that had settled to the bottom, although I was surprised to find this in a commercial beer. Had a "home brew" feel to it.

Color was golden orange. Much darker than I would expect from a pilsner, and definitely outside of style range. Didn't have the "clear" appearance you expect from a pilsner either.

Aroma was strong malt and no hop presence. A little aggressive aroma from the malt, more than expected. Some fruitiness as well.

Taste was strong malt and cloyingly sweet. No hop bitterness to back up the sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium. Not enough carbonation for a pilsner or "spritz." The malt flavor weighed heavy on the tongue but cleared off after a few seconds. Very dry as well which was surprising with the malt flavor.

Overall I would guess this is a bottle conditioned California common (steam) style pilsner. It came off more as an extract home brew than a commercial pilsner. If I'm wrong, perhaps I got a somehow-contaminated bottle. Overall disappointing, but a drinkable beer if you don't assume it's a pilsner before drinking it.

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Photo of francisweizen
2.5/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An odd beer, to say the least. I had this beer on tap at Shopsys in Toronto. The smoked meat sandwitch was killer and I washed it down with this beer. This beer had a standard golden appearance but the aroma was of fritos (corn chips). That's right!, this beer smelled and tasted like freaking corn chips. Now, I am assuming that this is because this beer was brewed with corn and rice. I had no sense of hop flavors or malt flavors at all...just corn chips.
The mouthfeel was average, as was the drinkability, but I would take a molson export over this!

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Photo of philipquarles
2.51/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml can. Pours a clear gold with a fizzy white head that disappears quickly. Smells like a homebrew that was contaminated with cleaning agents--what seem to be chlorophenols dominate pils malt with a very light grassy hop aroma. A turn off. Thankfully, the taste isn't effected; all light, sweet malt with a very faint floral hop presence. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Aside from the slightly offensive smell, this isn't too bad, just uninspired and characterless.

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Photo of Gusler
2.53/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The pour a clear and gold color with the head frothy in texture and the color white, size is average with the lace a thin covering upon the glass. Nose is malt and sweet, crisp and fresh, front sweet with a fair malt profile, the top skimpy in feel. Finish has a decent hop presence and the acidity stinging, quite dry aftertaste, drinkable but not much else to be said unfortunately.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.61/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 500mL can into a pint glass. The look of the can makes me think that this is the Canadian Rolling Rock -- we shall see!

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light effervescence and no haze. Head pours two fingers of pillowy white foam that has decent retention. Not too bad!

Smell: quite grainy, and it seems there's even a little skunk present -- unusual since this is a canned beer. There's a bit of cooked corn aroma in there, too, which does detract from the overall effect. I mean, the style doesn't ask a lot, but cooked corn should not be on the list.

Taste: quite corny, with a little malt sweetness and a light bitterness. I thought this might be the Canadian Rolling Rock -- actually, it's worse.

Mouthfeel: light body with a bit of carbonation and an OK foaminess. Not creamy and delectable, not prickly and refreshing, but at least it's not flat.

Overall: I'm a bit disappointed here. Other ratings aren't so bad, but for me this beer is too corny to be really worthwhile.

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Photo of atr2605
2.63/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours yellow with a white head with good retention
S-sweet malt and corn, no hop presence
T-Has a strange vegetable metallic element to it. Not pleasant.
M-light bodied
O-looks and feel is right but the strange flavor throws off its crispness. Very possible it got like struck due to the green bottle

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Photo of SaunaKing
2.81/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6pack of 331ml bottles of this after hearing the insessant commercials on the radio the past few weeks. Being a big fan of euro pilsners I thought I would give this a try as they made a big thing about being a pilsner on the radio spots.
Very cool packaging - both the box and the old skool green bottles.
The beer poured a pale straw colour, but not totally clear - there was a hint of cloudiness.
The smell was a little strong, and the aroma was of granny smith apples, not what i was expecting
Upon first taste the beer was a little sharp, but i dont mean the crispness associated with a good pilsner.
Overall though this would make a good session beer, good summer beer but at $11.95 for a 6pack its waaay overpriced. For the same price I can get 6 500ml cans of Bitburger, Konig and other euro pilsners at the LCBO.

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Photo of ssmack
2.84/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Clear golden yellow. One inch of white head that became a ring. Little carbonation or lacing.

Mild bready aroma with a grassy Czech hops.

Mild taste. Slightly steely hops and faint malt taste.

Light feel. Watery.

This is a lightweight lager. Not a good example of a Pilsner. The hops were just too low.

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Photo of akdo
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look: In terms of style, the Steam Whistle Pilsner is true to a Czech Pilsner. It is dark gold and produces a one-finger head which vanishes after a few sips. The natural carbonation is very low.

Smell: The microbrewery behind this beer didn't try to make me believe that the aromas are akin to any given fruit, spices or woods. I'll give them that. To my surprise, the skunkiness in the smell is weak even though the beer comes in a green bottle, which lets light in.

Taste: Nothing special. According to the microbrewery, we are supposed to feel some grassiness. In actuality, drinking this feels like buying a bottle of natural spring water at the grocery which has been made bitter with some hops and malt. Lagers or pilsners are just not my type.

Feel: The only detail setting this bland beer apart from other industrial lagers and pilsners is the lingering bitterness in your throat after a sip.

Overall: I reiterate that lagers and pilsners are not my type. This is the worse Canadian craft beer I have tasted. If the brewer's objective was to make an easily drinkable beer, then kudos to him or her. It is just an upgraded version of a lager or pilsner because of the lingering bitterness in your throat. This is the last time I drink this.

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Photo of timtwoface
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm not really a fan of this style of beer. Maybe the green bottles subconsciously throw me off because it reminds me in many ways of Rolling Rock (another beer I'm not really a fan of) or maybe just the weaker, plainer taste just resonates with me as boring.

Is it BAD? No, just not my style - I can only see myself going for a beer like this on a hot day if I need something refreshing. In that regard it's OK - it's just not really for me.

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Photo of gandres
2.94/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Taster at the brewery in downtown Toronto
Appearance: amber, clear, medium foam
Aroma: malty, not a lot of aroma
Taste: low bitterness
Feel: tart
Overall: good beer, one of the pilsen I appreciate, very refreshing
Drank: 8/17/2016 2:00PM

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap: Clear yellow beer with small head with below average retention. Aroma is quite sweet with more or less malt. Taste was quite enjoyable with some refreshing sweetness. Lacking a bit of character and body to make this truly good but better then some other lager that I had the misfortune of drinking over the years.

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Photo of Rukasu
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Poured from a can on a Porter flight. Big, strong, dry biscuit flavor and mildly astringent hops. Not particularly memorable, but could be refreshing in a hot day. But man, that branding really makes one think they're drinking a Rolling Rock.

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Photo of Mellonius
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Pub Italia, Ottawa. Poured in a shaker glass.

Dark straw color, almost orange. Little head formation, it disappeared very quickly.

Smell is somewhat grassy, citrusy and wheaty.

Very light on the palate, refreshing and drinkable. Not very characteristic as a German Pilsner, though. Lacks the bitterness and the richer hop complexity of the genre.

A nice beer for a warm afternoon, especially if you're eating spicy food. Not special, though. I would not try it again in a world full of new things to sample.

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Photo of yesyouam
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Steam Whistle is a transparent light golden lager with an ample white head. The aroma is muted and of bread and fruity and wooden hops. It is light bodied, smooth and crisp. The carbonation is a bit soft. The taste is primarily grainy and cereal. It tastes very fresh and very simple. It has a tiny hop presence at the end of the flavor, which really tightens the finish. This is what Heineken wants to be like. My dad always brings some of this home when he goes to see the Yanks play the Jays.
(rated Jun 13, 2007)

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Photo of Stocean1
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - poured a one finger head from a nitro can - pale yellow - head did not last long - little lacing

S - light malt - some floral notes - bready

T - light malt up front - stale biscuit - a little bitterness - nothing too complicated

M - light bodied - dry - a little tart - decent carbonation

O - a very average beer that I used to enjoy much more - to be fair I am not a huge pilsener fan

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Photo of Sammy
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok beer in a retro green bottle. Enjoyed best at their brewery where there is often hoopla. Sweet floral taste with dry astringent aftertaste. Would have enough rather than a national Canadian brand but rank is weak compared to other microbrewery peers.

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Steam Whistle Pilsner from Steam Whistle Brewing
3.42 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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