Ekstra Castle Ale
Gubernija Brewery

Ekstra Castle AleEkstra Castle Ale
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Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #471
not listed
Ranked #46,514
2.91 | pDev: 24.05%
Gubernija Brewery
Ekstra Castle AleEkstra Castle Ale
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JayTheFinn from California

3.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall I'm okay with this one, but just okay.

A - Very pale straw colored body. Large white foamy head evaporates to almost nothing very quickly.
S - Lightly hoppy. Sweet honey scents. A little grassy.
T - This is an ale? Everything about the taste points to a pilsener. But there it is, right on the back, "Ekstra is a top fremented traditional Lithuanian alus (ale)". It's got a strong honey flavor, but when the sweetness subsides you're left with a ginger ale type of after taste.
M - Not really strong, but not all together meek.
D - A little too sweet to get high marks for drinkability.

Mar 25, 2007
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smcolw from Massachusetts

2.21/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Fizzy white head--similar to soda pop. Straw colored and crystal clear. Minimal bubble production after the initial pour.

The smell starts off poorly--skunky. (Why do brewers still bottle in green glass?). Mostly malt flavors, no noticable hop.

An unusual (and interesting) sweetness that I am not used to in a Pilsner. The finish is surprisingly dry. The body is too thin considering even for the style. There is a touch of hops. There's also a cidery-like flavor to the beer.

This is watery, but still a step up (barely) from American Light beers.

Oct 07, 2006
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aayooper from Connecticut

3.3/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle from Trader Joes. Pours with a nice head and light straw color. After my first taste, I thought this beer was a bit off (skunky), but it did mellow nicely as it warmed. No hint of bitter taste after the initial try. For the price/size, this is decent beer. Don't expect strong hop flavor. Drinkable and I would buy it again.

Oct 06, 2006
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helchose from Nevada

3.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It seems that this beer has gotten to be better quality more recently, based on the history of reviews. Perhaps there were storage issues before. It does not seem to be the case now though.

I just recently tried this beer, and I believe it is a lot of bang for the buck. Trader Joe's has it at $6.99 for 6 pint bottles. The flavor of the beer isn't the most remarkable, but it's a pleasant flavorful everyday beer that is good with food and great for cooking (last night, dumped a bottle into a chicken cacciatore sautee and it was delicious).

When you first try the beer it seems to be a little skunky and bitter, but the flavor soon mellows out and it really grows on you quickly. I especially enjoy the slightly sweet malty finish. This beer is best when it's allowed to rest for a few minutes in your mug, and chill it only slightly. It seems the best temperature for serving is perhaps 60 degrees.

Oct 03, 2006
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malcontent from Illinois

2.54/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ekstra or, as I like to call it, the scary-looking beer sold at Trader Joe's, is a pale straw color with several fingers of head (with good retention) when poured into a pilsner glass.

While the smell is mildly hoppy with some faint lemon, mostly there is a disconcerting stale smell with a bit too much yeast in the nose.

Yeah...this is the kind of beer that dissuades me from drinking central European beers with any regularity; slightly skunky with a bitter aftertaste (NOT bitter from the hops, though) & an alarming trace of metal considering it was served from a bottle.

A couple pluses; it's a nicely carbonated beverage that doesn't sit too heavy & would seem to indicate that it need be paired with food for the optimal experience. And wouldn't you know it; the beer does go down much more easily with the Mexican food I'm enjoying right now. Not a horrible experience but just not enough happening to make me want to come back to it again.

Sep 21, 2006
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denjen from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dennis: I think the thing I like best about this beer is that it comes in an actual pint bottle, rather than the standard US 12oz that we're used to (which...being imported makes sense). The taste of the beer is also a great point. It's very light, but flavorful. I would go so far as to say deceptively tasty.
Jen: I agree with Dennis (for once ;)). I really enjoy this beer because it is both light and flavorful. It is very easy to drink and goes down very smooth with no harsh after-taste. The size just makes it even better because there is just more to enjoy! Try one some time if you are in the mood for something new!

Jul 15, 2006
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kozmo from Massachusetts

3.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint bottle from Trader Joe's in Brookline MA, July 2006.

Dark yellow, nice head. Definitely not an ale, seems to me very similar to many European macros. Grassy, a little skunky in the nose. Flavor is your basic average fragrant pilsner with a touch of sweetness on the back end. Not much hops, hint of malt. Very light in the mouth, and definitely nice with food.

Jul 10, 2006
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Although this is labeled and "ale", and bears the marking "Traditional Alus Style", it's not really that different from their lagers. 5.5% abv, BTW.

It pours a clear, straw gold body beneath a full, foamy head of bright-white froth. The head retention is surprisingly good, and it leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

Coming from a green glass bottle the nose is skunked, I'll assume, unless you can find a bottle from an unopened case. Beyond that it displays a sweet and doughy malt that's smeared with floral and ligtly herbal hops. I don't find any yeasty fruitiness in the aroma.

The body is medium-full, and it's gently crisp in the mouth with a moderate carbonation level. As it warms a touch it becomes smooth and creamy.

Surprisingly, there actually is an undercurrent of yeasty fruitiness to it, but it's very, very, very minor. In fact, the malty nuttiness seems to be just as prevalent (or is that even diacetyl?). And, of course, it still displays the sweetish, doughy malt and floral/herbal rub of hops that the nose suggests. It's well-balanced despite it's doughy character (there's obviously some adjunct in use here), by a solid bitterness, and it finishes dry with a drop of sweet malt, some herbal hop, and a light, mineral-like bitterness.

Overall, it's a pretty decent beer except that it's a little on the sweet side. Great for cooking with, and enjoying alongside, garlic mussels!

Jun 26, 2006
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IntriqKen from California

2.23/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Since when is a Pilsner an Ale?
Poured dark yellow gold...like pee...with a smallish head if you force it. This melts immediately to thin lacing which also melts to nothing in no time.
Aroma is sort of grassy and malty, but pretty faint.
Taste is almost like the aroma...a little sweet malt at the onset followed quickly by grassy (Saaz<?>) hops.
Mouthfeel is too thin and carbonation almost non-existent.
Aftertaste is faintly citrus hops and then sour.
Don't want another, thank you. Glad this was a single.

May 21, 2006
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arizcards from Arizona

2.58/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle from TJ's in late November for $1.00.

This is not an ale as the name suggests.

Beer poured a golden color with a decent head that dissapated quickly. Nose is a strange malt-hop smell, one that reminds me of Northern European macro brews. Taste is unbalanced, predominated by a funky euro water hop flavor. Mouthfeel matches the pilsener style, is lightly carbonated. Drinkability is not overly impressive, this has too many characteristics of a Euro macro.

Mar 22, 2006
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scottoale from California

2.98/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one comes in a 500ml green glass bottle with the label on the back stating "ALC. 5.5% by vol."

It pours a nice gold color with a bubbly white, short lasting head. Just a mere trace of lacing, decent carbonation.

First wiff of this stuff is very skunky with a faint malt grainy smell into a minute scent of hops. Smell is ok but quite skunky.

Taste is skunky light malt with a crisp clean little hop bittering finish. It tastes kind of funny at first, but as it warms a bit the skunk flavor subsides and the grains and hops become more pronounced.

The mouth feel is light and a bit watery with a little tingle of carbonation on the tongue. This is quite drinkable, would be refreshing during the hot summer months. A fairly authentic Pils, no doubt. Worth a try.

Feb 28, 2006
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Hibernator from Massachusetts

3.22/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ekstra Castle Ale
16.9 oz green bottle
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass

Pours a golden yellow with a sudsy thin white lacing for a head.

Whiffs of sulpher, grains and oats with a sweetness in the background.

Sweet, drizzled honey taste with highlights of corn and grains. Juicy pilsner feel with a snappy hop finish. Tastes like Euro lager/pilsner combo.

Jan 14, 2006
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timbeer from Nevada

1.23/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Needed an extra bottle for dinner to insure there would be enough to go around, and found this for $1 at Trader Joe's. Thought I'd try something new.

It was just awful. I did not get through half the bottle before pouring it away.

The color was a pale, cloudy yellow which was not inviting at all. The smell reminded me of three day old backwash smell - like the beer can pyramid we used to stack in our dorm room. The taste started off seeming like a bad American macro-brew, which would have been tolerable, but it kept getting worse as I continued.

I tried to give this beer a fair chance. I put it down, came back to it and tried it again after 5 minutes, but it did not improve. After a few sips I began to feel the way I did after binging as a teenager, like I'm "this" close to getting sick.

I don't like to bash a beer. I'm willing to judge it on its own terms - some beers are good in their own way, but just not what I'm after. But when I have to pour more than half the bottle down the sink, that's just too much. Such a beer needs a good public trashing.

Nov 29, 2005
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Frozensoul327 from Michigan

2.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a big fan of beers such as this. Pours out to a mediocre yellow color with a short lived foam head. Medium level of carbonation. Aroma was skunky, mixed with hops and grain. Taste was hardly special; grain, cooked veggies and malt blended with a sour-bitterness combination that wasn't too enjoyable. Mouthfeel is ok, but far from exciting. Some carbonation kicked out the nuances of this brew, but unfortunately, those weren't the best. Skip this. There are better beers out there. Unless of course you are looking for a Lituanian beer...

Nov 24, 2005
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marcobrau from Illinois

3.07/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Lithuanian Castle Ale pours a pale straw color with a rather voluminous rocky head. Unfortunately, what looks appetizing doesn't smell quite so good; as I detect a cooked corn aroma overpowering some traces of hops. The fairly well-hopped nature of this beer is its redeeming quality. The malt and the corn (it's gotta be there, I could smell it) provide a decent backbone for the hops. The finish is clean and lingers for a bit, pleasantly, then disappears. Overall, this isn't a bad beer, as far as cheap Eastern European beers go.

Nov 04, 2005
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Eris48 from Rhode Island

1.8/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Absolutely awful. Tastes like the water in a pot after boiling vegetables. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's made from potatoes. Don't bother with this one - instead, go for the same brewery's Wiesse Bier, which is delicious and a great bargain at the same time.

Sep 29, 2005
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RBorsato from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Possibly the same as "Gubernijos Ekstra" and just repackaged for the US...

Clear straw-like yellow color with a low white head and decent carbonation. Earthy flowery hop aroma and a touch of corn and graininess a la a Euro Lager. Tastes much like it smells ... very Pilsner like. Light-medium bodied with a drying finish.

Fairly clean and refreshing and I'd be suprised if this is really an ale as the label and website state.

Per Label: "Anno 1786" & "Traditional ALUS Style"

Per G.B. website: Light barley malt, some corn, and bitterness is 30 EBC.

Tasted: 09/04/2004

(16.9 oz / $5.99 / 6-pack)

Sep 07, 2004
Ekstra Castle Ale from Gubernija Brewery
Beer rating: 75 out of 100 with 17 ratings