I have a love/hate relationship with Dogfish Head. While I have much respect for their love of experimentation, stuff like Randall Jr. and their Ancient Ale series are more often than not, completely lost on me. I find that they’re at their best when they take a traditional beer style and give it their own special twist, like they did with Festina Peche, ApriHops, and Sixty-One. When I saw a bottle of their Piercing Pils on the shelf during a recent beer run, I picked it up hoping that this would fall under the “traditional beer style with a twist” category that I love and not the Randall/Ancient Ale category that leaves me rather meh most of the time.
Before we get to my review, let’s find out what Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione has to say about their Piercing Pils. Check out this video…
And now for my impressions of this beer…
- Appearance: Crystal clear with a golden orange color. The head tops out at around 1.5 inches then settles down to a thin layer of white foam that covers the top of the beer.
- Aroma: Very subdued aromas. Mrs. G-LO said it smelled like a frat house beer. I’m a bit more descriptive when it comes to talking about beer, (I AM the blogger after all!), so I’ll say that I’m getting some lemon zest, but that’s about it.
- Taste: Light bodied with soft and fizzy carbonation. Tastes a bit more interesting than it smells. I’m getting green pear (i.e. unripened) and lemon zest from start to finish with a bit of bitterness at the end (like when you bite a lemon peel). Very astringent with a lingering lemony bitterness.
- ABV: 6%
Thanks to the Victory Prima Pils, Great Divide Nomad, and several other superbly crafted Pilsners, I have definitely gained a great appreciation for this particular beer style. The great ones are crisp and refreshing with a subtle bitterness that I find really appealing. Piercing Pils is a pretty good beer, but it lacks the crispness that I seek from a well crafted Pilsner. The verdict: skip this one and go for the My Antonia (an Imperial Pilsner) instead. That stuff is delicious!