Original Oettinger Pilsener

Total Score: 4.15/10 Barley1 Malt1 GreenApple1 Stein1

Original Oettinger Pils? Huh, we’ll see about that. I’m always apprehensive when reviewing a non-Czech Pilsener as other countries always make something akin to a watery flavourless Lager – but I’m giving this one a chance because it’s just so damn cheap (6 x 500ml cans for $13.99 = cheap in Australia!).

Poured from a can into my 500ml Stein glass.

A: Wow, this one really lets off a bit of fizz when poured into the glass but the head dissipates in the same violent fashion that it poured… disappointing. The body is golden bordering on a certain yellow colour that we’ve all seen before while going to the loo. The head is straight white. 3/10.

S: Malt, malt, malt… and a whiff of hops. Hint of macro grains with metal. Some apples as well. 4/10.

T: The flavour is neither original nor exciting. Grains dominate with a sharp bitterness at the end. Is it crisp? Yes. Is that what we want in this style? Yes. Could use a bit more finesse in the flavour department? Most certainly. 4/10.

M: The carbonation in this beer is far too harsh. It reminds me of an Australian Lager in this regard and I’m not sure if any Germans would even like a beer this carbonated (at least I don’t remember any other German beers like this when I was last over there). 2/10.

D: Hmmm, my review might sound pretty harsh thus far but there is one saving grace for this beer: it’s cheap! Yep, it is a cheap beer and when I want a cheap beer this stuff isn’t nearly as bad as the macro Australian Lagers (which I err away from). Is it drinkable? “Eh” is all I will say. 6/10.

Food match: German food (Bratwurst, Knackwurst, Kartoffel, Knudel, etc…) or even Italian food (Fettuccine Carbonara, Linguine Napolitana, Penne Arabiata, etc…).

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11 thoughts on “Original Oettinger Pilsener

  1. rob says:

    I find your comment on carbonation interesting because for me the carbonation is spot on at medium-low, it tends to go almost flat bar a slight fuzz in the back of the mouth if consumed from a pint glass or the like. Lovely in a pils glass.
    Id be interested to hear your review on Sierra Nevada kellerweis, perhaps it edges weihenstephaner hefe

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    • Yeah, you might be right about that – this review was done nearly 4yrs ago and my perceptions of taste have changed over that time, it’s entirely possible my perception of carbonation has changed as well.

      Also taste is variable and subjective – my “over carbonated” is another man’s “mid to light carbonation”.

      I have actually already reviewed the Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss and the Weihenstephaner Hefe. Keep checking back and you’ll eventually see both posted.

      Alternatively my reviews of both are available now on beeradvocate.com under the username “doktorhops” 😉

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  2. The carbonation in no way compares to, say, the angry coopers lager, ouch!
    I prefer the German pils, pale, grassy, maybe a touch of boiled veg in a stainless steel pot left cold on the stovetop overnight is fine by me.
    The Czech pils I find refined and fresh and a smack to the tastebuds due to the contrast of the fresh grassy almost minty hops versus the pronounced malt of the Czech. But I find it too viscous and the contrast too in your face to be a session choice.

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    • Yeah Coopers do overcarbonate their beers a bit, as do most Aussie Macro brewers… I might give Oettinger a second go – a re-review to see how I like it now and update the scores accordingly (I haven’t had it for a while).

      I originally much preferred Czech over German Pils (I spent a month in the Czech Republik back in 2006 which is where I first acquired my taste for them), however over the years my view has softened on German Pils to become a bit more forgiving of the way they are made.

      All that said Oettinger is a Pils in name only – it is actually a Euro Pale Lager by style. German Pilsener should have similar characteristics to a Czech Pilsner with less spicy hops (but more bitter floral German noble hops) and more yeast giving it a bread-like quality and a medium body. It should also be drier in finish than a Czech Pils.
      If you want to try an example of a good German Pils I recommend the Weihenstephaner Pilsner (despite my review on Beeradvocate – this one needs a revisit too!).

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  3. Rob says:

    Uh huh thanks for the low down on pils styles!
    I’ve had a couple bottles of weihenstephaner pilsner in the name of trying to decipher it as something superior to oettinger and and so far no dice. I will give it another go and hopefully the tastebud stars align on the day and I get an insight into it’s special quality, as of yet I see no reason to discard the oettingers, not least the price, it’s good stuff and my first regular brew in about 2 years of constant rotation of craft brews.
    I picked up a 6er of kellerweis (free bottle of Northern Harvest with every 6er at Danny murphys) and upon tasting it was obvious that the wienstephan wheat is a superior choice. Thing is I drank a single bottle of SN Kellerweis the other day and it was incredible,. Must’ve been a case of the taste bud stars aligning that day as seems to happen occasionally, to me anyway.

    Between Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, Oettinger Pils and Weihenstephaner wheat I may not need another beer. I’ve grown tired of Stouts and English ales. I wouldn’t mind finding a Kolsch, I did try cat shank Kolsch by Sail and Anchor and quiet enjoyed it, but it did taste buttery and I read somewhere that butter wasn’t indicative of the style.

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    • Yeah a decent Kölsch is hard to find in Australia, the style is a very specific German style that Aussie brewers seem to fumble time and time again, I would recommend Mornington Peninsula Sorachi Kölsch as the best I’ve tried outside the Kanberra Kölsch (which is made at Wig & Pen microbrewery in Canberra – and you can only get this on tap).

      Happy drinking!

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  4. Rob says:

    Yes what the Oettinger certainly isn’t is bready. Or noticeably dry. Once again thanks for the notes.

    You have great kolsch on tap! Baa humbug. Thanks for the rec as I anticipate enjoying a kolsch session or two over the coming summer.
    The only other kolsch I’ve tried is 4 pines kolsch, I found it to be refreshingly fruity and very nice. The bottle-o guy recommended having it half and half with 4 pines pale ale.

    If you have any brew recommendations relating to the sunshine state (I’ve recently moved to Maryborough from Sydney)
    I’d be happy to hear them.
    Regards, rob.

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    • Yes, having moved from Brisbane recently myself I cannot speak highly enough of Bacchus Brewing out of Capalaba – they make some of the most interesting/awesome experimental beers you will ever find, including a flipping amazing Lamington Dark Ale that tasted like a liquid Lamington! [I wish I had taken tasting notes that time]

      I also heard through a friend that the Bacchus Brewing tour is like dying and going to beer heaven with the amount of taps they have on offer and they also do mini-kegs (I think they’re 5L kegs) for parties.

      Oh yeah and Green Beacon Brewery in Newstead makes the best wheat beer in Australia… definitely check them out if you visit Brisbane.

      Really feel like a pint of Bacchus’ Maple Coffee Stout now 😦

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