Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 96 Rating - Highland Pilsner by Highland Brewing Co.

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Highland Pilsner by Highland Brewing Co. was judged as a German Pils, BJCP category 5D.

Medium grainy malt evenly balanced by floral hops. Additional spicy hops and just a trace of sulfur join in. The aroma leans slightly toward the hops as you drink through but the malt is always present. Clean lager fermentation. The beer pours a brilliant golden color with a creamy white foam cap that remains atop to the very last drink. Millions of tiny bubbles streaming up give a hint of the carbonation levels.

Moderately high levels of floral and spicy hops are the first to arrive on the palate. Grainy malt is joined by some cracker and a note of light toast. Firmly bitter but not at all harsh. The balance is toward the bitterness but the ever-present hop and malt flavors are never far away. Crisp with a lingering dry finish. Somewhat of an herbal hop component is accompanied by a long grainy malt aftertaste. Each aspect of the flavor is clean, distinct and bright. The body is medium-light with high levels of carbonation. The carbonation provides a little tingle. There is a mouth-drying sensation perhaps via water chemistry, grainy malt, tannins or alcohol (or some combination thereof).

If you are seeking a world-class German Pils that is brewed in America, look no further. Refreshing and subtly complex, every aspect of this beer is identifiable, clean and fresh. There is a real synergy as each element of the beer works to complement the other. I suppose if you prefer a more Bavarian interpretation of the style you would want some additional depth to the malt character but that would be purely a matter of personal preference. As for me, pour me a Maß please!