Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stone / Cambridge / BrewDog Juxtaposition Pilsner

After a couple months of beer and beer writing apathy, I feel like I'm back into the swing of things. So today I decided to go out and find a new beer. I headed only a couple miles down the road to Pacific Wine Merchants (so I could do some cigar shopping at the same time- going to explore the Arturo Fuente line a bit more soon) without knowing what I would really find. They only have about 3 fridge doors worth of beer, but generally it's very good beer (Pliny, Pig, West Coast IPA, everything Stone, Oskar Blues stuff... you get the drift). To my surprise there were Blind Pig bottles in there that were only 3 weeks old! I haven't seen bottles that fresh at the best beer stores in So Cal for a long time.

So aside from stocking up on the Pig, which I would take any day over Pliny, I also noticed the recently released Stone/Cambridge/BrewDog collaboration Juxtaposition Black Pilsner. For the last year or so I've thought the whole trend of "blackening" traditionally light beers was kinda gimmicky and lame. I didn't like the Stone 11th Anniversary black IPA so much and I think that's where it started. If I see one of the many Black IPA's on tap these days I never order it. But I figured I'd give this one a whirl, since The J's seemed excited about it. So it's a 10% ABV black pilsner. It pours with an obviously thin body... ok that's good, because if it didn't it'd basically be a porter disguised with lager yeast. The smell is quite interesting at first, and maybe that's because I served this puppy COLD- the way it should be (probably around 40F). At first I get really nothing other than some lager yeast byproduct stuff in the aroma, but after a bit it starts mirroring the flavor a little more with a mild roastiness. In the taste there's no question this contains a good amount of roasted malt (as opposed to that darkened malt that imparts no roastiness, I think one of the Carafa's). Anyway, it's basically an imperial chocolate porter with a thinner body and a less fruity yeast. The 10% ABV is easily detected on the back end of the palate and has a belly warming effect. This aspect wears on me a bit as the beer warms up towards the end of the glass. The body was not overdone here which is nice. It's still within the "thin" spectrum of mouthfeel, just slightly below medium. I enjoyed this beer for the most part but as I got to the final 1/3'rd I began to get tired of it. An interesting brew, but give me a well crafted regular pilsner like Sly Fox Pikeland or Moonlight Reality Czeck and I'll be much happier.

1 comment:

Rational Realist said...

Steve, good review. I kind of liked this beer and I like what Stone is doing the collaboration concept. I agree on the whole "blacking" trend, I guess it's the logical progression from "imperializing" every beer style. A good beer will still be a good beer and a crappy beer won't be masked by being blacked or imperialed.