Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review: Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner
Brewer: Boston Beer Company
Location: Boston, MA
Alcohol: 8.8%

First, a little back story. My wife and I were driving all over McAllen looking for a place to eat; a quick place that we hadn't eaten at, or at least in a while. As typically happens, we were at that point where hunger overcomes the rational ability to make a decision. We narrowed it down to two places: Fresco's and Mama Mia's. The former was packed to the brim so we headed down Tenth Street towards Mama's. And then without more warning than a billboard I happened to spy, we noticed, on the corner of Tenth and Business 83, the new Feldman's Market Center. We stopped in for a quick look-see before dinner.

There are a number of Feldman's in the RGV each with your typical frat-house liquor selection. The beer selection varies from store to store, as does the quality of the wine. Some stores carry cigars. Market Center, however, strives to be one of those high end imbibers that you tend to only find in more forward-thinking cities, like Austin, New York or San Fransisco. With that in mind, Market Center is exactly what you'd expect a Valley interpretation of that sort of store to be. Very good, but still with flaws.

The wine selection is impressive, as is the cigar room. The beer selection is already the best in the RGV, and the short deli menu offers a wonderful selection of cheeses, meats and expensive appetizers. We had a couple of the sandwiches (sorry, Mama's), "the Man" (a stacked, high end chicken, ham and cheese) and a tuna sandwich made with (gasp!) fresh tuna meat (or, at least, not canned). There is also a quaint foodstuffs section (to cover the "Market" part, I suppose). And oh yeah, the liquor selection is ridiculous. Not for variety, but for volume; it seems like most of the store. Of course, all this adds up to many potential return trips for yours truly, and many new possibilities for the Beer Journal.

The first pack I pulled out of the cooler, the first time I'd ever seen this beer in person in fact, was Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. The label also read, "An Intense Hop Experience", which regular readers of this site know all but sealed the deal. This Imperial Pilsner is listed under Sam Adams's "extreme beers" classification. The name Hallertau refers to the type of hops used, Hallertau Mittletruck from Bavaria, Germany.

True to it's label, the copper-colored HIP is absolutely loaded with hops. I expected this to mean a sharp, biting bitterness, but that is not the case. Instead, that beer and bouquet alike have a flowing taste, taking some off of the top but remaining pungent and (let's face it, repulsive) to those not accustomed to hoppy beers. This all combines to make HIP a vary drinkable beer, even for more than one per sitting. (The 8.8 would have different ideas, though.)

The Stats:

Food: 8.4
Beer: 9.1
Atmosphere: 7.6

Rating: 8.9

Other Reviews:
The Monitor (store)
Boston Geek (beer)


Blogger Gabriel said...

Y' know, I've seen that Imperial Pilsner in the cooler for a while now, but never had the guts to buy the four pack. I do remember the labels said to enjoy by 'January 2008', so I'm glad they still taste good.

I might pick up a four pack before they get returned. Right now I'm getting my hop fix with some SN Bigfoot.

March 4, 2008 at 2:49 AM  

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