Join us in the lands of better beer
A Review of Scrimshaw by North Coast Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/1/2012 by Chops
The pilsner. No other style has been hacked to pieces so mercilessly by the big beer companies. Unfortunately this means that the overwhelming majority of pilsners on the market aren't actually pilsners. They're nothing more than beer flavored tap water with fancy labels. Decades of bastardizing the style has left the majority of beer drinkers with absolutely no clue how this style is supposed to taste. Luckily for all of us, there are beers like North Coast's Scrimshaw. This, by beer loving friends, is a true pilsner.

In the glass, this beer has a rich sunny yellow appearance. Pay close attention because this is what a pilsner should look like, not diluted urine or dish water. It comes with a sudsy white head that has decent retention. I stuck my nose in the glass for a whiff and slowly closed my eyes in a beer laden ecstasy. Scrimshaw smells like a slice of lemon cream pie. I just sat there with my eyes closed, enjoying breath after breath. Again, this is what a pilsner should smell like, not rusty tap water.

Going in for that first taste, you immediately notice one trait, or rather lack thereof. Scrimshaw has absolutely no metallic undertone whatsoever. It's just clean, crisp, and totally refreshing. This is of course when I heard the choir of beer angels singing (which sound like raspy German bar wenches). When a brewery can completely eliminate that nasty tinny taste common with crap pilsners, that's when a beer goes from great to world-class. This beer's body is very thin and I usually prefer a modicum of thickness, but it's still very nice and easy drinking. The core flavor is pretty easy to grasp, just a lemon cream base with a wispy hop profile. The finish is very clean, decently sweet, and exits with a pleasantly minimal aftertaste.

Overall, North Coast's Scrimshaw pilsner is a fantastic beer that I can't say enough good things about. It possesses all of the traits that make a great pilsner and then some. Scrimshaw has definitely secured a spot on my list of best American pilsners and I doubt it will be dethroned anytime soon. Considering that this beer comes from the same brewery that gives us the Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, it's not exactly surprising that Scrimshaw would impress. I can recommend this beer to all levels of beer drinkers, but especially to novices. Scrimshaw is not only a fantastic bridge to better beer, it's also a revelation. One sip of this delectable nectar and you will never return to your mass-produced garbage beer again.

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Scrimshaw by North Coast Brewing Co.
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