Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pivovar Herold Golden Revolution

There are a lot of "Imperial" beers out there.  Readers of this blog know of some good Imperial Pale Ales.  There are also Imperial Stouts, Imperial Porters, and Imperial Red Ales.  Indeed, it seems that any beer style can become an Imperial so long as you are able to boost the ABV into the beer stratosphere.  A few months back, I was walking the aisles of a Binny's Beverage Depot outside of Chicago, Illinois when I came across a first for me ... an Imperial Pilsner.  Called "Golden Revolution," it heralds from Pivovar Herold, a Czech brewer in Breznice u Pribrami, whish is south of Prague and southeast of Plsen.

Novelty aside, the bottle also caught my attention.  Revolution is a loaded word for Czechs.  They have endured two notable revolutions, Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution.  But the revolution in this beer has no political or economic overtones.  Instead, it is all about a change in a well-established beer style.

The bottle says it perfectly:

Golden Revolution heralds the arrival of a new Czech pilsner standard.  This handcrafted, dry hopped Imperial pilsner sends a powerful message to the pilsners that have come before.  Echoing the words of one of the Velvet Revolution's heroes as he dismissed the communists, Golden Revolution proclaims, "Thank you, now go away."

Indeed, this beer heralds a different experience when it comes to drinking a pilsner.  When pouring the beer, one clearly sees the "Golden" part of the resolution.  The beer pours a deep gold, which is far different than the lighter color of most pilsners.  The aroma of the beer gives a faint hint of what is to come ... a truly boozy experience.  This beer tastes a lot more like a barleywine than a pilsner.  And there is a good reason for that.  Traditional pilsners, like Pilsner Urquell, have an ABV of about 4.4 percent.  Although not listed on the bottle, the ABV of this beer has to be at least twice that.

The difference between this beer and other pilsners, beside its booziness, may well be due to the "collaborator" behind the scenes.... Dogfish Head's own Sam Caligione. The master of unique brews such as Theobroma and Palo Santo Marron collaborated with Pivovar Herold to make this beer.  This may be one -- and perhaps the only -- time that "collaboration" is not a bad thing.

Make Way for Better Beer ... and


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