Tasting Notes: Who You Callin’ Wussie Pilsner from Stone Brewing Co.

IMGP3395_editedThis week’s Tasting Notes gets a little arrogant as we take a look at Who You Callin’ Wussie Pilsner from Stone Brewing Co./Arrogant Brewing (Escondido, California).

Who You Callin’ Wussie comes to us by way of Stone Brewing’s side project known as Arrogant Brewing, a splinter brewing project that focuses on the brash intensity of the Arrogant Bastard line and newly developed beers full of liquid arrogance.  Who You Callin’ Wussie is the newest year-round offering from Arrogant Brewing and this Pilsner absolutely pulls no punches.  The purpose of Wussie is to take back the Pilsner by proving that this style can be so much more than the “gutted . . . soulless and anemic . . . fizzy yellow” product that “tyrannical industrialized beer overlords” produce and peddle.  Wussie is a Northern German Pilsner that spares no expense to utilize only the finest ingredients to create a 5.8% ABV lager that forces you to take another look at this style.  This year-round offering is available now in Alabama, Florida and throughout Stone Brewing’s national distribution footprint.  Look for it at craft beer-friendly establishments in 6-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft.  With that background info now covered, let’s open a can of arrogance and take some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Who You Callin’ Wussie Pilsner from Stone Brewing Co./Arrogant Brewing

Appearance:  Who You Callin’ Wussie emerges from the darkness of this matte black can as a bright golden liquid.  Held to direct light, the gold color gains more depth and some brighter, lemony yellow hues force through as well.  The body is incredibly clear with a medium to high carbonation level coursing throughout.  The pour produced two fingers of bubbly, perfectly white foam that has moderate retention.  This head fades slowly during the experience to eventually settle in as a thin but complete top cap.  The foam grips the glass with authority, leaving a notch after every sip taken.  Without a doubt, this beer nails the look.

Aroma:  The surprises start here as the signature Pale & Pilsner malts you expect from the style are clear and right up front.  Lightly sweet, a touch toasty, and absolutely representative of a Pils.  Things kick up a bit from there when the hops join the party.  Earthy and floral to start, the hops then gain a bit of spiciness.  The aromatic profile rounds off with a kiss of citrus and some lemongrass.  Everything here is pretty balanced as the malts and hops get equal attention.  Arrogant? Maybe.  Selfish?  Negative.

Taste:  Seriously . . . the first sip takes me right back to Germany.  Sure, the hops turn up first in the flavor profile and they bring a bit more bite than a “traditional” Euro-brewed Pils.  That said, they are also a hell of a lot more restrained than you would expect from a beer coming out of a Stone Brewing facility.  The hops are floral, bring a touch of spicy bite, earthy overall, but still have just a bit of citrus behind them to bring things stateside.  The malts then push their way forward to give you all the grain goodness you want from a Pils.  Grain is absolutely the word here, lightly toasted and a bit sweet.  The malts share the spotlight evenly and Wussie is sporting nothing but damn fine Pilsner flavor.

Mouthfeel:  This lager is light in body with a high carbonation level to achieve as much drinkability possible.  The ABV sitting at 5.8% does have a touch more presence than I hoped and it does lend a bit of heat at times.  The beer dries out clean and fast, easily coaxing you to take another gulp.  The aftertaste is minimal, but earthy hops and light malts linger just long enough to remind you they were there.

Final Thoughts: To be completely honest, when I first heard that this beer was being brewed I was a little worried that the folks at Stone Brewing would over-hop it to level of the now commonplace India Pale Lagers being brewed these days.  My fears were eased immediately because that is absolutely NOT the case when it comes to Who You Callin’ Wussie.  This beer is clearly a study in German brewing tradition with just a grace of Stone Brewing personality and arrogance infused along the way.  The only gripe I can come up with here is the alcohol presence, but that is truly a reach just to find at least one flaw.  Wussie comes together with effortless confidence to be a beautiful Pils and something that I could definitely get used to being brewed by more craft breweries over time.  Revisit the past and respect tradition, but have enough arrogance to make it your own in the process.  That pretty much sums up what this beer achieves.  Prost!