A true Pilsner-style lager, according to Jackson (1993), has “a good malt character, but is accented toward the hop, in its floweriness of aroma and dryness of finish.” Weighing in at 12 degrees plato, a true pilsner should be hopped with only the noble hops from Žatec (Saaz). Pilsner Urquell, according to Michael Jackson (1998), is “the original Pilsner, copied throughout the world”. “The beer has an inimitable softness of malt and a finish that sends the consumer’s hand beckoning another one.” (Jackson, 1993).
In his “New World Guide to Beer” (1988), Michael Jackson tells us that no friend of beer can resist Pilsner Urquell – nor be satisfied until one is acquainted with it. As we had the chance to be present at the tapping of a barrel of unfiltered Urquell, that’s a description we surely can attest to.
In modern times, the pilsner style is connected to clarity and golden color through filtration. Before the filtering techniques brought into use around 1900s, all pilsners must have been something like we currently have at hand. So it’s a nod towards tradition, I guess; a sign of the times, if you will. A good sign for all beer drinkers alike.
Would pilsner, by any other name, taste as bitter?