Total Score: 91.0
Today I’m going back to the Victory well for their Prima Pils. Info about the brewery can be found in my previous review of Victory Festbier. As for the beer, Prima Pils is brewed with all German malts and a blend of German and Czech hops. Victory has again claimed its share of accolades with this one, winning silver medals both at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival and the European Beerstar Competition, as well as being named the best pilsner in the world in 2005 by the New York Times. From Victory’s information sheet: “we toured Germany and the Czech Republic in 2007 because we find it hard to believe the Times. They were right this time.” Well said. They recommend pairing it with a hand tossed pretzel, pastrami, or Liguria pizza. I think that it’s light and dry enough to be served as an apéritif, but also hoppy enough to pair well with a well-seasoned fish or chicken dish. “Prima” is the German equivalent of “great”, and it’s time to see if it holds true.
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with a best-by date of 2/15/12 stamped on the label. Medium yellow in color, maybe a bit dull, but crystal clear. Nice thick looking head that leaves spotty lacing. The film left by the head separates into chunks that look a little too solid for my tastes, kind of like little pieces of ice, and is a bit off-putting. Could smell it as I was pouring it at arm’s length from my face. Traditional German pils smells, but more powerful than your average pils. Dominated by delicious and bright earthy and citric (lemony) hops. Taste mimics the smell, with a bit more bitterness than your average pilsner. Lemony hops are abundant. Also more malty and fuller in body than usual for the style. Sharp bitterness and dryness left on the tip of the tongue that really linger as the main features of the aftertaste. Crisp, clean, and refreshing are all good adjectives for this one. Abundant hops, malt, and body meld nicely into quite a good beer.
Where most pilsners are restrained, often to the point of being meek and boring, this beer is in your face showcasing those great European hops. Basically they’ve eliminated everything that sucks about most pilsners (thin, mild, too pale) and brought out the good stuff (hops, hops, and hops). Prima indeed.
Look: 7.5/10 Smell: 9/10 Taste: 9.5/10 All-Around: 9/10