O’Dell Brewing Company was founded in 1989 after Doug O’Dell moved from Seattle to Fort Collins, CO (note to self: road trip to Fort Collins soon). Doug got his start as a homebrewer, but his brewery was the second microbrewery to open in the state of Colorado, and if the Double Pilsner is any indication, Doug certainly knows how to brew a good beer!
The Double Pilsner is a seasonal, available from May to August. The company claims it is heavily hopped and list it at 8.1% and 40 IBU’s. Although pilsners are traditionally quite clear lagers, the Double Pilsner pours a nice orange-gold color and has a fair amount of haze in the glass. A very small head was produced in my New Belgium Belgian-style glass.
I’ll be honest, when I saw “Double Pilsner” on the label in the bottle shop, the first thought that came to mind was “double boring.” I definitely prefer ales to lagers, but I do enjoy a good, crafted lager, such as Victory’s Prima Pils. I’ve had other O’Dell beers, and I know they are universally solid brews, and I was surprised and pleased by Double Pilsner.
Beyond looking good, the Double Pilsner has a nice, floral aroma, although my nose isn’t the best and so I have trouble picking up much beyond that. With a nice sized gulp, I immediately taste the same floral notes, followed quickly by alcohol. The aftertaste is has some vegetal DMS type notes which are not out of place in this style. O’Dell claims the beer is heavily-hopped, but I would say the Double Pilsner is finely balanced, slightly more sweet than bitter, and I don’t detect much hops in the aroma or flavor. With an imperial style, the hops are important to balance out what could otherwise become a very sweet and cloying beer, so I think the hops are more of a balancing act in this beer, and perfectly done at that.
As the beer warms up, the alcohol comes a little more forward, although that floral flavor is still there, albeit a little further back. This is a good, clean beer without too much complexity, in my opinion, but the flavors and aromas that are present are very well done and pleasant. This is a solid drinker, although at 8.1% ABV I feel a light buzz even after one. I don’t think I would like more than one of these in one sitting, but then again, Double Pilsner is no lawnmower or session beer.
O’Dell has certainly hit the mark yet again with this beer. Complex enough to satisfy most ale lovers, but simple enough to really highlight the brewer’s intentions of bringing a clean, smooth, nicely balanced beer to your palate. The only thing bad I can say is that this is the last one in my six pack!