Review - Karl Strauss Brewing Company's Whistler Imperial Pilsner
"Now that we are 21, our palate has matured like a fine wine. So we created something unique with old vine Zinfandel grape juice added during fermentation to give this brew a subtle vinous quality. Belgian yeast imparts hints of dried fruit in the nose, while a big dose of Vienna and Caramel malts yields a dry warming finish. Aged a month on American oak to take the edge off, this is one to share with friends." -- Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Pours a deep amber color with a tinge of red, producing a small but frothy tan-colored head with minimal retention. Lacing is somewhat persistent but isn't overly sticky. Body clarity is brilliant but the deep rich color makes it slightly opaque. Initially a light malt presence with some bread malts up front, followed by a strong wine aroma with moderate alcohol astringency. The aroma is very unique - lots of wine. Little to no traditional Belgian notes (banana/clove) but with an intense grape profile. Initially sweet with some fig and prune fruit notes that quickly heads towards the finish with an intense alcohol and grape presence that mirrors a lush red wine. Medium bodied with a slightly watery texture, soft carbonation with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Lots of vanilla and oak in the finish behind a soft alcohol presence. Low hop presence of an earthy variety and slightly sour from the grapes. Very unique, intriguing and makes us want more.
Reviewed on October 17th, 2010.