08 June 2008

Jever Pilsener (GER)

I have a bottle of Southern Tier's new Cherry Saison I was planning of reviewing, but the vicious weekend heat has made an Imperial anything seem like too much. Instead, a classic North German pilsener seemed like it would hit the spot. And it did.

A green bottle and an all too close "best before" date make Jever a bit of a risk. Indeed, the smell is skunked up a bit. However, the sustaining white head on top of a straw body work in the beer's favor, and the taste doesn't seem off at all (but possibly muted over time). There's some initial malty sweetness -- more than I expected given this style of pils -- but from there on it's herbal hops, bitterness and a very dry finish. Jever is something like 44 IBUs, and the relatively light malt profile make it seem like more. So it largely comes down to whether you like German noble hops. I do.

Jever is a nice beer for the right occasion. Still, it doesn't quite match up to my favorite US pilseners (e.g., Victory), and the vagaries of green bottles and travel make it a tough buy.

No comments: