Svatý Norbert: Specialni pivo: Velikonoční 13° (Czech Republic: Bohemian Pilsner: 5.3% ABV)

Visual: Clear light yellow. Large creamy yellow to white head.

Nose: Light hop oils. Crisp hops. Light ginger. Wheaty. Lemon.

Body: Malt yet crisp. Nettles feel. Slight sugar eggs. Light banana. Slight toffee. Palma violets. Lots of hop feel. Light barley. Sweet apricot. Light custard.

Finish: Malty. Digestives. Lemon touch. Harsh bitter and hop oils. Ground up hops and greenery.

Conclusion: Two days, two Czech pilsners drunk and reviewed. I’m making up for shunning them in the early days of the Prague visit. Also two very different takes. This puts the hop oils and rougher use of the unfiltered feel right up front. A harsher introduction, and then only as you get used to that does the soft fruitiness and Easter sweetness come out and start putting the more complex notes in the background.

This means that you get a slightly sweet main body, but still goes out into a very robustly bitter and Palma violets finish. It is like you have that soft banana and apricot just seeping in until you realise your tongue is still covered by the hop oils you felt initially, and they are ready to party.

In fact it uses the Czech hop character very well indeed, and it is that that reminds me very much of the traditional Czech Pilsners, rather than the more easy drinking beer from Pražský Most U Valsů. However this still has that sweeter side, one that actually reminds me slightly of Belgian Easter beers. Lighter of course, but still those same notes. Combined together these make for a very unusual mix of heavy bitterness and easy going sweetness. Very much an excellent beer, and if you end up in the right place at the right time to try it, then definitely try it.

I’ve always said lagers can be complex and this one definitely is.

Background: This was the brewpub I was looking for when I found the Pivovar Matuska beers in the pub next door. This was literally just up the stairs. We were so close! Still, it ended up with me trying more good beers, so all is well that ended well. I nearly missed this beer as well, it is, in fact the 4th highest rated light Czech pilsner on Rate Beer. Not realising Velikonoční means “Easter” I nearly didn’t realise the Specialni was in fact the beer I had been hunting for. I am an idiot some days. Also, it meant it was very lucky we were visiting just after Easter. Some days I am far luckier than I have any right to be. This is again, unfiltered baby!

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