Samuel Adams Noble Pils

Samuel Adams Noble Pils

Essential!

  • Pine and citrus, floral and woody
  • Light, fizz, citrus
  • Spicy hop, not overly bitter

Seasonal.

A couple of months ago, I was looking for a good American pilsner. What should be the natural state of American beer is, instead, the exclusive realm of European Czech and Czech-style brewers. But this year, Samuel Adams introduced a new seasonal, Noble Pils. According to the marketing, it contains the five noble hops grown in central Europe. These hops are renown for their strong aromas and complex flavors.

Samuel Adams Noble Pils bottle and filled special edition glass

That light color is indicative of a pilsner. It's pretty light for a Sam Adams brew.

Upon pouring, it was clear that Sam Adams was serious about brewing a serious pilsner. The beer is the classic bright, rich yellow, and the head is made up of the small, tight white foam that is indicative of the European pilsners, and it’s fizzier than any other Sam Adams I’ve ever had. It has a strong perfume aroma, floral and woody. At first sip, it’s light, fizzy, citrus-y, and sweet. When it really hits the tongue, the hops kick in, and the beer’s flavor explodes on the palate. The bitterness is not overwhelming, contrasting this with many IPAs. I find that IPAs tend to beat up my taste buds with shear force and the flavors linger long after swallowing. But the Noble Pils finishes with just a light anise note left on the tongue.

Noble Pils is stronger than it’s European counterparts, and I expect that is because American craft-brew drinkers are crazy for IPAs. But Sam Adams really balanced the bitterness and spiciness of the hops. This is a great American pilsner. There is no mistaking this for anything but a refreshing beer. It might be an effective bridge to bring our Bud– and Coors-drinking friends over into the craft-brew world. It’s not so exotic as to seem “fruity,” but it’s so well done that I expect it would be similar to giving someone who has only ever eaten Ellios a slice of Brooklyn pizza.

I hope the Noble Pils goes into regular rotation, as opposed to seasonal, but if I can wait for Octoberfest and Winter Lager, I can wait for the Pils to come around again. I believe this is replacing the White Ale, and, I’ll admit, I won’t be weeping for that loss.