Eiraphiotes Imperial PilsnerJuly 1, 2012
Olde Hickory Brewery
A Greek epithet for Dionysus, Eiraphiotes means “Twice-Born”—Its second birth from chardonnay barrels has transformed this pilsner dramatically. Very limited production.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.0688
A beer with a Greek name meaning “twice born,” a reference to the fact that the beer is aged in oak Chardonnay barrels. The beer is 7.5 percent, considerably stronger than a true pilsner but in 19th century the Czech lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and so the imperial tag has historical resonance. It has a deep hazy gold color with a vine fruit and oak aroma, gentle hop resins and toasted grain. The palate is intensely fruity balanced by tart and bitter hops, ripe grain and hints of oak and vanilla. The finish is sweet and fruity to start but bitter hops kick in and the beer is finally dry, with rich fruit and bitter hops.
- Roger Protz
As I open the bottle, there’s a bit of rust-colored paste underneath the cap, and I’m a bit worried. The beer seems fine, though, showing a light prickle of carbonation and loose foam on top of the deep gold liquid. The nose shows some oak, more woody/floral/French than vanilla/coconut/American. The palate marries sharp hopping with a twinge of tannin—the malts step in sweetly to balance things out. Bitterness lingers, and the beer has no wine-like flavors. If you think you’ll like barrel-aged imperial pilsner, you probably will. Try spicy shrimp, grilled in their shells.
- Garrett Oliver
Author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. Respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. and www.protzonbeer.co.uk.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and a veteran host of more than 800 beer dinners in 15 countries.
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