Maniacs rejoice! Beermania is back in your life.
For all you new guys, what I do is rate and review two different beers prior to each UFC event. This week will be two classic Czech style Pilsners, sure to quench your thirst while you watch Nate Diaz pick apart Ben Henderson this Saturday night.
As always, I have done my best to use beers that are of the same style; however, I will no longer be using beers from the home state or country of the main event fighters. With any luck, I can convince some you to try out a beer that you normally wouldn't have sampled at the local watering hole. Also for this episode I have included "Chocolate Silk's Cooking Corner," which will give all you Maniacs some recipes that should compliment the style of beer being reviewed.
Here's how it works.
When reviewing a beer, there are typically five categories of concern: Appearance (A), Smell (S), Taste (T), Mouthfeel (M), and Drinkability (D). After a brief description for each category, based on my tasting notes, I will assign a letter grade to each beer.
Fighting out of the blue corner representing the challenger Nate Diaz and brewed out of Plezn, Czech Republic we have Pilsner Urquell:
Tale of the Tape:
Beer: Pilsner Urquell
Brewery: Plzensky Prazdroj, Plezn, Czech Republic
Serving size: 12 ounce bottle poured into a Pilsner glass, 4.4 alcohol percent
From the Brewery:
For generations our dedicated, passionate brew masters have ensured that Pilsner Urquell with its distinctive darker shade of gold and snow white head has maintained its uncompromised purity of flavour.
Since 1842 we have used only the purest, most natural ingredients to create a beer of golden opulence. From the soft crystal clear waters, to the superior Bohemian and Moravian barley and noble hops from the Saaz region. Even our yeast has a centuries-old pedigree...
Considering this, it would of course be inconceivable to simply drink our pure golden pilsner. This brewing icon, coveted by the discerning, is a lager to be slowly savoured and relished.
Catching the light, the clear golden amber colour and creamy head beckons...
Whirl gently to release the floral aroma, raise the glass to your mouth and inhale deeply. Relish for a moment the aromas of fresh baguette, earthy hops and honeysuckle.
And now it is time...
Don't hurry. Drink deeply.
Slightly sweet, somewhat malty, the honey nut flavour sparkles on the tip of your tongue, and slides into your mouth where tart citrus flavours and warm caramel bitterness builds quickly before slipping down your throat full of rich body, thoroughly refreshing...
And ... the aftertaste... the sharp, distinct bitterness overlapping with caramelised sweetness lingers and develops on your palate.
Who could resist another tingle tongued deeply gratifying swirl, savour and swallow when the first was so superb?
Pilsner Urquell - the pure pilsner from Pilsen.
A: Pours medium gold with perfect clarity. A few bubbles rise to the white, perfectly constructed of small bubbles, two-finger head. Head is reduced to thin layer of bubbles at the bottom of the glass. Leaves behind a few small splotches of lacing.
S: Saaz hops lend a bit of spice and floral hop aroma with a bit of light, bready malt.
T: Spicy hops and fresh cut grass are the first impressions, followed by cracker and biscuit malt and a touch of diacetyl(butter). Malt sweetness is mild and overshadowed by hop bittering. Finish is grassy bitterness and cracker grain.
M: The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish is clean and crisp with a dry lightly bittered ending.
D: A fine starter beer for new beer drinkers wanting to drink something not BMC. Good summer beer/great session beer.
While I still prefer the German Style Pilsner over the Czech variety, this is still a very nice beer, and one that I keep in the fridge at almost all times. A great gateway beer into craft drinking that I have actually got a few friends into good beer after having them try an Urquell.
Out of the red corner, representing the Champion Benson Henderson and brewed out of Boston Massachusetts we have Samuel Adams Noble Pils:
Tale of the Tape:
Beer: Samuel Adams Noble Pils
Brewery: Boston Beer Company, Boston Massachusetts
Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner Glass. 4.9 percent alcohol by volume
From the Brewery:
Samuel Adams Noble Pils is brewed with all 5 Noble hops for a distinct hop character and fresh taste. Deep golden in color with a citrusy hop aroma, Samuel Adams Noble Pils is a traditional Bohemian Pilsner. The honeyed malt character from traditional Bohemian malt is balanced by delicate yet pronounced citrus, floral, and piney notes from the Noble hops. The winner of our 2009 Beer Lover's Choice® election, this beer was chosen by over 67,000 drinkers for its crisp complexity and refreshing taste.
A: Pours a pale yellow with a one-and-a-half finger head. Dissipates to a very light cap and sticky lacing
S: Crisp, zesty hops with a hint of earthiness, some orange peel, and light malt. Solid.
T: Follows the nose - Starts with a bit of grainy malt, then a brilliant, mellow tangerine-like citrus hop comes through midtaste; finishes with the hop and a touch of spice well into the aftertaste. Great balance.
M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and clean in the finish
D: Easy drinking brew with good balance.
For the style, this is an excellent beer. Even regardless of style, it's a great sessionable warm-weather beer. I remember having this beer last year and loving it. I remembered correctly. This beer is great. Definitely one of the best pilsners I've had and certainly one of the best beers that I've had from Sam Adams.
Additional Tasting Notes:
The birth of Pilsner beer can be traced back to its namesake, the ancient city of Plzen (or Pilsen) which is situated in the western half of the Czech Republic in what was once Czechoslovakia and previously part of the of Bohemian Kingdom. Pilsner beer was first brewed back in the 1840's when the citizens, brewers and maltsters of Plzen formed a brewer's guild and called it the People's Brewery of Pilsen.
The Czech Pilsner, or sometimes known as the Bohemian Pilsner, is light straw to golden color and crystal clear. Hops are very prevalent usually with a spicy bitterness and or a spicy floral flavor and aroma, notably one of the defining characteristics of the Saaz hop. Smooth and crisp with a clean malty palate, many are grassy. Some of the originals will show some archaic yeast characteristics similar to very mild buttery or fusel (rose like alcohol) flavors and aromas.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.5-5.5%
Some other examples of the Czech Pilsner style would include:
Braumeister Pils (Victory Brewing Company)
Sierra Nevada Summerfest (Sierra Nevada Brewing)
Mama's Little Yella Pils (Oscar Blues Brewing)
Summit Pilsener (Summit Brewing)
Chocolate Silk's Cooking Corner, brought to you by ShivanTiger:
Szechuan Style Green Beans!
1 pound of green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili paste
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon white sugar
salt to taste
pepper to taste
sesame seed oil
For best results use a Wok
1.using about 2 Tablespoons of the sesame oil stir fry the green beans for 5 - 7 minutes
2. remove green beans from wok and set aside
3. stir fry garlic and ginger for 2 minutes, add in chili paste
4. add beans and remaining ingredients back in wok, stir fry until crisped to personal taste
5. Mix and serve
Spicy Orange Chicken!
1pound chicken breast, skinned and cubed - about 1 inch cubes
¾ cups Orange Juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoon ginger minced
1 tablespoon flour or corn starch
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
For best results use a wok
Combine 2 tablespoon Orange Juice, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil garlic and ginger. Add Chicken marinade for 30 minutes
Add flour and red pepper flakes to remaining Orange Juice, whisk and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in wok. Add Chicken and marinade. Stir fry until chicken becomes opaque. Add cornstarch or flour mix to wok. Stirring constantly bring to a boil. Cook until sauce is thickened to your liking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
That does it for this week. As always enjoy responsibly and go 209!