Why that would be Pilsner Urquell of course! Yes that’s right the original pilsner, the beer that changed how the world sees beer! This was the first ever pilsner, and every pils, pilsner, or pilsener is in some way formulated from the original recipe passed down through the ages from the gang at good ol’ Pils-Urq. Now, while it is tempting to start rattling off an ode to the pilsner style, I will refrain. No, I will not wax poetically about the wonder of Beck’s or the magnificence of Heineken. No, no I will not. Why? Because, as tempting as it is to rattle on and on about the glory Saaz noble hops, this post is not about pilsners, and the magic within them. No, no, this is about THE pilsner, Pilsner Urquell.

The Pils-Urq is offered in a shiny green bottle, with a label that screams, “CLASS!” Elegant and inviting, the bottle wisks you away to the old time Czech Republic, and it never felt so right. Nice lookin’ label, nice lookin’ bottle, so far, so good. Unfortunately that is roughly where the good times end. Because now it’s time to open her up and go in for the real thing.

It pours a brilliantly clear straw color, that brings you back to a simpler time, when men were men, and women couldn’t vote. Yes and don’t you worry your pretty little heads, you can see right through it! And if you put it over a piece of paper with writing, it can actually act as a magnifying glass. Take that Guinness!

Now, as any beer drinker worth his weight in hops would, I go in for the smell. Now when the aroma of this particular brew first hits the nostrils, it becomes readily apparent to the drinker why the initials of this beer are P.U. It’s like they threatened Pepe Le Pew before each new batch, to get that crisp skunky smell just right. Cause at Pilsner Urquell they raise and frighten only the finest skunks to in all of Eastern Europe. Well, I won’t lie, too often that is, but the smell did not have me that ecstatic about goin’ in for the taste. But I did, for you, my loyal reader.

Surprisingly the skunkiness was not as prevalent in the taste as it was the smell, and my mouth couldn’t have been happier! Well, I mean it could’ve been happier, if I was drinking, say, Anchor Liberty Ale or any other beer I enjoy, but you get the pitcher. It had that hint of bitterness you’d expect, with a hint of I believe, hydrogen and oxygen. But the hydrogenity seemed like it may have been about twice as much as the oxygenacity in there. Yes, definitely two hydrogens for every oxygen or so. It almost feels like you’re being hydrated? The taste was fairly bland, but the “P to the U” does have some subtle malty undertones, and will prick your tongue as it passes through, but overall it does not have a strong taste about it. It won’t stand out in a crowd, if you know what I’m saying.

So, is it drinkable? Sure. Would I go out of my way to track down more for my private stock? Probably not. I mean although it is the original pilsner, I don’t think it has any other beers in “Czech”, as it were. I would rate this okay to drink if you are surrounded by skunks and need to make them think you are one of their own. Or I guess if you are surrounded by “Czechs” and need to make them think you are one of their own. Either way. Now, it’s off to find out what exactly is Yugoslavian for alcoholic water.

Bottoms Up
Willie 3:16

~ by William H on December 5, 2007.


  1. Aw, c’mon. This isn’t a beer review, it’s a bitch session about the green/clear bottles imports insist on foisting upon us.

    Review the beer from a fresh keg with clean lines. Or at least from a bottle that hasn’t sat under the flourescent lights of your local liquor store for six months.

    It’s a fantastic beer, if not the ‘bash you over the head hop-monster’ we’ve grown to love in the U.S.

  2. This is very true scoutmaster, but the alcoholic water series is meant to be taken lightly. And I just call it like I see it. I’m sure this particular one had been sitting in the bright cooler at my local watering hole for quite some time, but if it were in fact “fantastic” why would it be sitting there for so long, hmmm? Okay sure not the best argument, since most people at this place are scared to veer off of Coors Ave or Budweiser boulevard, but still. I would give it another go under optimal conditons, but truth be told the pilsner family is not high on my list. But the “alcoholic water” posts are meant, for the most part, to be, very unserious. This is probably the only alcoholic water thus far that I’d give another go to. And to be fair, I did say it was drinkable.

  3. While this beer is probably the most drinkable of the venerable “Alcoholic Water” series, I think it’s quite on the overrated side. I know it’s got a lot of tradition, and being that it’s the first of its kind lends a sort of uniqueness to it. But as far as drinkability goes, there are better pilsner’s out there. I’ve had it fresh, too, and I feel pretty much the same.

  4. I know we’ve had this argument before, but I think P-U is pretty good stuff. Not necessarily a regular in my rotation, but worth a pull if you find some at your local. If properly cared for, it’s a very crisp and refreshing alcoholic water with some real flavour to it.

  5. Boj, now I know what to bring you a twelve-pack of when I come visit!

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