Early September I took a vacation out to Saskatchewan to visit some family. On top of reconnecting with family I hadn't seen in over ten years I got to sample a lot of western Canada beer that I otherwise wouldn't have gotten to try down here. One of those breweries was Saskatoon's own Paddock Wood. At the time, I wasn't going to review any of their products mainly because we don't see their beers down here (which is too bad because they have a huge line up of regular and specialty brews and I tried everything that was available at the time.) And why bother reviewing something when the majority of our readers are here in Ontario and would never have the opportunity to try these beers on their own?
Well, that's all changed. I stumbled across not one but two of their products in the Beer Store: The 606 India Pale Ale and the Czech Mate Pilsner. Maybe it was available in the Beer Store all along, I don't know. I haven't stepped foot in one for nearly two years save to return empties (if you're wondering why I don't shop there and you haven't heard me rant about it before, blogTO has you covered.)
At any rate, now that I know some of their product is available here in Ontario, here's a review of their pilsner!
You can pick up a 6 pack of these for $13.55 at the Beer Store.
This 5.2% pilsner pours a nice golden amber hue with two fingers of foamy white head. There's some good retention on the head with some nice lacing.
The nose has some very floral hop notes up front with some subtle citrusy undertones. I also smell some honey and caramel sweetness alongside toasty malts in there.
This is definitely a hop-forward pilsner. No, it's not an IPA or anywhere near that level, but for a pils it's more hop than I'm used to. That hoppiness is very floral and earthy and balances well with some lemon/lime citrus notes and malty caramel sweetness.
Mouthfeel is exactly what you'd expect from a pilsner: medium bodied with a good level of carbonation and a clean mouthcoating.
Overall: This is a very solid pilsner. Balance is something I look for in this style, and boy does the Czech Mate hit it on the nose. And it does so by being more complex than the average pilsner. I could drink this any day of the week. 4.5/5.