Based on the messages I've been receiving from Shaun lately, he's had a fun time in Seattle trying some barrel aged beers at a recent organized event and at an informal tasting among friends. Meanwhile, back here in Chicago, I've been trying my share of delicious brews myself ranging across many varieties. I recently wrote about Mikkeller whose beers I've tried recently and become fond of. They're now on my "will try anything they brew unless it's brewed with mayo" list, and I just came across the Czechet Pilsner they brew in Belgium. I love pils as one of my most cherished styles of beer, but they can be very ordinary. Just pick up a macrobrew. If Mikkeller brewed the pils and it's brewed in Belgium, the possibilities are endless.
This unusual pils starts out rather ordinary; that is, it's got a rich amber color and you pick up some pine and citrus hops on the nose. And something else too. Curious, I dove right through the white puffy head on it immediately after pouring it. I got the expected sharp pilsner bite on it, although it rocks the world of most pilsners in terms of direct fresh hoppiness. Then something unexpected happened. The finish has some caramel, honeyed Belgian yeasts, not a lot but they resonate for a moment. They stick around long enough to give you an unusual profile but don't take away from the lean, hoppy experience you expect from a great pils. This is a nice touch by the mysterious Mikkeller boys.
4.7 of 5 stars. Original, attention-getting, satisfying.