Ah, Noble Pils. The spring seasonal that changed my life. For the better.
The amazing bouquet of hops, sharp citrus bite, and thirst quenching power makes this like a carbonated alcoholic Gatorade full of flowers. Yea, it’s that awesome.
Flavor like this is the reason I drink beer. It’s complex but delicious; not overwhelming to the palette, but not weak by any means. It perfectly walks the line of taste and refreshment, something not many other beers can boast.
I bought Noble Pils during it’s inaugural year (2010) on a whim. I liked the green of the label and the bottles caps. I’m a sucker for marketing, what can I say?
But I’m hella-glad I randomly chose that 6-pack. Before Noble Pils, I had considered all Bohemian style pilsner to be bland and generic, good for slugging down on an oppressively hot summer day, but not much else. I used to scoff at beer drinkers who argued over the subtle differences between Pilsner Urquell, Heineken, Grolsh, and Stella Artois, wanting to scream, “All pilsners taste exactly the same!”
But I was oh so wrong. I let my ignorance of the style cloud my better beer judgement.
A pilsner is technically a bottom-fermented pale lager. What gives it a distinctive taste is the low bitterness but high aroma of the hops used during brewing. The term “noble” refers to four strains of central European hops (Hallertau, Tettnanger, Spalt, and Saaz), some of the oldest and most established hop-farms in the world. Sam Adams claims to use the five noble hop varieties because they include Hersbrucker, which replaced Hallertau in the 1970s due to widespread agricultural disease.
These hops make for a beer that is very drinkable, but packs a lot of flavor and smell (a lot like my new found love, session ale) The subtle bitter of these noble hops balances the sweetness of the malts, resulting in an unmistakable type of beer, that is popular for obvious reasons.
But then there is Sam Adams Noble Pils. Sure, it’s a Bohemian style pilsner brewed with noble hops. Sure, it’s hyper-drinkable, has a small, lacy head, and has the letters P, I, L, and S, in the title.
All similarities end there. Noble Pils is Bohemian-style on crystal meth and PCP. Imagine that Harpoon IPA and Amstel had a wild romp one night. Nine months later?
I highly, highly recommend you try this beer if you haven’t already. It’s available year round as of March 2012, so you have no excuses other than being a masochist who likes depriving himself/herself of all things that are good.
10 out of 10.
Next up: Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale!