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Anyone remember the advertising campaign for Holsten Pils where anagrams of the name played a prominent part?
No? Well the title won't make much sense then but I'll leave you to work it out.
One of the worst things about the festive period is that you invariably have visitors dropping by bearing armfuls of beer. "And that's bad...how?" You're thinking.
Well it wouldn't be a problem if they were appearing with Chimay or Duvel or something in that vein, but they invariably appear with less appetising offerings like Bud or Tennents. They then proceed to 'sample' all your good stuff before buggering off and leaving 3 or 4 cans/bottles of gnat's pish for you to get rid of.
So that's how I came to be drinking HOLSTEN PILS (you didn't think I was gonna buy the stuff myself now, surely?)
Holsten Pils has been brewed by the Holsten Brauerei AG of Hamburg, in Germany since 1879. These days, Holsten has a number of breweries under their control, such as: Astra, Edel and Duckstein, and there's some sort of tie-in with Carlsberg as well. It's widely available in most, if not all, UK supermarkets where in exchange for a crisp new fiver, you will get 4 x 440 ml cans and some coppers in change.
Which reminds me...
I was enjoying a pint in the pub one day with a friend. "My wife will be on the plane now," he said with a wistful smile. "Really," I asked. "Where's she off to, somewhere nice?" "Oh, nowhere," he replied, "I've left her at home taking a couple of inches off the kitchen door."
Back to the beer...
HOLSTEN PILS pours a bright, yellow-gold colour with lots of sparkly bubbles rising to a short-lived, thin white head that leaves no discernable lace on the glass.
The aroma is dominated by sweet malt, mainly caramel, with some traces of husky grain and a little biscuit character. There's a hint of floral hops, but not much more than a petal or two, and the slightest waft of dusty yeast.
It's medium-to-light bodied with a far too lively mouth feel for my liking. As with the aroma, sweet malt dominates in the taste department. It's not very crisp, which you would expect from a beer of this style, and the hops just don't seem to be trying, all I'm getting is a stewed vegetable-like flavour. It's a little grainy, but there's not really a lot going on here at all. The first hint of any bitterness is a very late flourish towards the finish, but it's too little, too late.
* The Verdict *
At 4.8% ABV, this is pretty unimpressive stuff. To be fair, I've had a lot worse, but considering it's brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot (German purity law from 1516 stating only water, malts, hops and yeast can be used) I'd expect something a bit more rewarding. In its favour, it doesn't have any nasty adjunct flavours corrupting it, but there's just no oomph to it, y'know?
Nope, for a German pils its decidedly unspecial.
Would I drink it again? - Dunno. I'm loathe to drink anything that can be anagramised into 'to piss n hell'.