Blue Collar Brew Review – Rahr & Sons Pecker Wrecker Imperial Pilsner

Rahr logoI was extremely lucky to have hooked up with an old work buddy of mine from back in the casino slot technician days (early ‘90s.) He was Living in Fort Worth, Texas and was back in town briefly to visit relatives so we made some time to meet at a local bar. We were there for about 2 hours or so, going over old times, catching each other up to the present day and laughing our fool heads off over a couple of pints.

A few weeks later I received a text from him informing me to expect a package in a week or so. Sure enough, I received another text a week later from his sister-in-law telling me to come pick up a package. Apparently she was visiting in Texas. The drop place was down the road a ways put I found the location and took delivery of a box from the Rahr & Sons Brewery in Fort Worth. Inside were three bombers of beer of three different styles. A farmhouse ale, a smoked lager and an imperial pilsner called Pecker Wrecker.

PW bottleI decided to drink the farmhouse ale that night (it was damn good.) The smoked lager I’ll pass around at the next homebrew club meeting (not my favorite style.) The pilsner I saved for tonight.

During the day Saturday, I brushed up on the definitions of pilsners and lagers and researched similarities and contrasts between them. Pilsners are lagers but not all lagers are pilsners. Pilsners are generally brewed with lighter pilsner malts, are smoother, crisper and a bit more refreshing than lagers. But if it was up to me, I’d change both styles and call them “pilsgers.” Or “lagners.” The difference is like splitting hairs.

ninkasiI was prepared to lounge back into the arms of Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, and indulge myself in some good ol’ yellow, foamy beer.

 

And so we begin.

PW foamThe beer poured with an orange-yellow color which I thought was odd. I was expecting something more brilliant yellow. The head came up over an inch and was creamy white. Carbonation was crazy with huge bubbles racing upwards. The aroma was slight if there was one at all.

The first sip was surprisingly malty for the style. The taste was odd for a pils. This one had a medium mouthfeel and an odd flavor that I couldn’t pick out. The hop flavors were muted although the swallow was nice and crisp. The malts just came right up in front and stayed there.

I was confused. What style of beer was this other than a lager? I’m certain that it was not a pilsner as stated on the label and we can only guess why the brewer used the term for this beer. Lager is more appropriate to what I was tasting, albeit a malty lager. Maybe even a malt liquor.

Each sip left an almost syrupy coating in my mouth that was sweet and lingered before disappearing. Not one sip so far resembled the traditional pilsner or lager flavor. With each sip, the liquid seemed heavier and heavier on the taste buds. I was reminded of how odd I thought Abita’s Turbodog tasted a long time ago.

The more I sipped, the more I was reminded of some of the smells that came from home brewing. Yeah, those malt smells. During the mash and the boil. Certainly not a bad smell.

I’d say, since pilsners are lagers, we can cancel them out of this equation. What’s left? A big malty flavor with hardly any hops to taste. Would that then leave us with something along the lines of a brown ale? Or more like a malt liquor? I’d go with the latter.

PW glass

As craft beer lover, I’d say that I was misled by the labeling on the bottle. The fact that the taste was so difficult to pinpoint makes this beer more along the lines of a Frankenbeer. The big malty flavor, medium and syrupy mouthfeel and barely any hop bitterness pulls this beer out of the pilsner style and into the dark side of the lager style. It’s like a stretch Hummer. A car, a truck and a bus all in one.

If I ever find myself in Texas, I’ll kindly take a pass on Pecker Wrecker regardless of its name.

PeckerwreckerThe SixPackTech summary for Rahr & Sons Pecker Wrecker Imperial Pilsner:

Style: Pilsner claimed.
Taste: Malty and sweet. Lots.
Smoothness: Good enough.
Drinkability: Gets more difficult the deeper into the glass you go.
Bang for the buck: N/A
Amount paid: N/A
Get it again? I’ll pass on this one.
ABV: 8%
Brewer’s website
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: Orange. (sniff) Hmm. (sip) Creamy. (sip) Sweet but bitter citrus. (sip) Leaves an after taste. Ick. It’s still there. (We’re almost on the same wavelength.)

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