Epiphany No. 2 Imperial Pilsner got its start in Toronto, Ontario, where it was lovingly crafted by the folks at Black Oak Brewing Co. A limited release which, according to the label on the 650mL bottle, is the second release in a series of brews "designed to highlight the creative talents of our brewers, featuring bold and interesting styles of beer." Well, they had me at "limited release". And if that hadn't, got me, the 7.7% alcohol would've.
Epiphany No. 2, or the Deuce, as I call it, was strongly recommended to me by a friend whose judgment I trust, so I ran right out to pick up a bottle of my own. When I cracked it open on a grey Friday evening in late May, its lazy, hazy golden hue picked me right up, while its Bermuda Triangle's worth of durable eggshell fog threatened to outdo the clouds in the sky.
The Deuce packs a mellow but serious aroma that is at once grainy, boozy, and bitter. It has a surprisingly subtle flavour that is replete with green apple notes, Sauvignon blanc notes, grass notes, dry hops notes, and alcohol notes. It's a veritable notepad of flavours! However, all said, the flavours are muted, particularly given the high booze content.
Dry, but not arid; strong, but not punishing; bitter, but not overbearing. The Deuce is a beer worth trying and one worth sipping slowly. An intemperate guzzle could cost you in the a.m. Nor would you want to hurry through the novelty of an Ontario-made Imperial pilsner. If you're partial to Steam Whistle and Urquell, this stuff might cause you fits unless you approach it with an open mind and a dose of caution. If you're an IPA fan, it'll underwhelm with bitterness, but intrigue with vigour. I have little experience with truly strong pilsners, so I run the risk of overstating, but I think that this is a fine example. Try it and let me know if you agree.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.