Jan 12, 2014

Tasting notes: Johnnie Rico Pilsch

This was the first beer I brewed for Adam's wedding. Brewed with Huw on November 14, bottled on November 30 and this tasting on January 10.

Johnnie Rico Pilsch
OG: 1.035
FG: 1.009
IBU: 25
ABV: 3.4%

Aroma: Lemon wafts up from the glass. A closer inspection also reveals spice, honey, pils malt.
Appearance: It pours crystal clear and a sparkling pale straw-yellow colour with a dense and sticky white head. It looks very nice.
Flavour: Very clean flavours. Light pilsner malt sweetness with spicy Saaz, lemon, hints of honey and firm but smooth bitterness. There isn't any lingering aftertaste, it fades very quickly and demands another sip.
Mouthfeel: Fairly light mouthfeel, relatively high, prickly carbonation which accentuates the bitterness.

The Pilsch also goes well with cricket
I'm delighted with how this one turned out. It's spot on. So easy to drink, light and refreshing. It's perfect Summer beer. It wouldn't do anything for a beer geek obsessed with hops and exotic ingredients but it's a really nice beer. It feels weird and wrong to talk up my own beer like this but it's delicious.

The subtlety of this beer is what really makes it. Even though it's just using one malt (Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner) and one hop (Saaz), it's got a depth that goes far beyond that simplicity. It's a beer that rewards drinking, there's something new in each glass.

I spend an unreasonable amount of time reading about beer and brewing on the internet. I tend to read and then get excited and then write up recipes inspired by people's descriptions. The problem* is that some of these descriptions are really well written and they raise my expectations to the point where I get disappointed with the resulting beer. The Pilsch is one of those but fortunately it clears the expectations comfortably.

Next time: As far as I'm concerned this recipe is essentially spot on but it might be interesting to try it with a hop like Styrian Goldings or First Gold for an orange/mandarin dose of citrus rather than lemon.

* Using the word 'problem' quite loosely.


  1. Hey Nick,

    Thanks for you comment on Fuggled! Your Pilsch looks absolutely stunning! I have passed the links in your comment on to Jason at Devils Backbone. I love the idea of using Styrian Goldings or First Gold with this grist, might have a bash at that myself as I have plenty of both!

  2. Thanks Al! Jason is a genius, I'm so excited about this beer. I'm torn between brewing another Saaz batch and going straight to First Gold.

  3. Do both, compare side by side. I can think of so many hops that would work well in this beer: Motueka, Strisselspalt, and Tettnang all spring to mind straight off the bat.

  4. I will. For science. I've got some Motueka in the freezer so they might need a run too.


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