Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Oskar Blues likes to be cute with names. The “Ten Fidy,” “Old Chub,” and “Gubna” Imperial IPA, while outstanding beverages, seem more like punch lines than serious beers. Not that we have to be stuffy here. Beer should be fun. Beer is fun. But I get the feeling that two hours of hanging out with these guys might be summed up as a string of dick jokes, punctured by the occasional fart and ending with some drunk neanderthal chasing a girl with his outstretched index finger.
With Mama’s Little Yella Pils, we get more of the same Middle School humor. (I admit that I’m still not sure what it means. Do mothers only like pilsners? In my experience, the Dads drank pilsner, while Mom guzzled White Zinfandel.)
But names are besides the point. Who cares, right? Well, unless you’ve got a damn impressive beer, a poorly chosen name sets a bad first impression. And in this case, the beer isn’t good enough entirely to overcome it.
This pilsner was fine, a solid B student that hit most of the marks of a good Czech pilsner. It achieves a nice malt-hops balance, the brewers showing admirable restraint where its marketers did not. Some spicy hops in the aroma. It is refreshing without being boring.
I’ve got to be honest — I was less than impressed the fist time I tried this, having tasted it alongside Samuel Adams’ Noble Pils, which just blew Mama’s Little Yella out of the water. But I came around to it on the second tasting. And yes, on the third. Poured in a glass, as it should be, I could finally just concentrate on the beer.
Aroma (10/12): Some spicy hops, with some lemon/orange citrus. Pilsner malt is definitely present. Lighter hop aroma than some other pilsners. No diacetyl. No DMS. No fruity esters.
Appearance (2/3): Frothy head dies quickly. Sticky lacing. Pale to burnished gold. Slightly cloudy, perhaps too much for a Czech pilsener.
Flavor (16/20): Rich pilsner malt. Some breadiness. Spicy hop flavor. Crisp and finishes dry. Some sweet corn lingers, but not so much that it becomes an American lager. No diacetyl or DMS. Alcohol warming is light, but flavor is barely noticeable. Overall, refreshing.
Mouthfeel (4/5): Light to medium bodied. Medium-high carbonation. No diacetyl-slickness present. A tad chewy for a pilsner, though.
Overall Impression (7/10): Rich malt character that is well-balanced with spicy Saaz hops. Less aromatic than other Czech pilsners I’ve tasted. A bit of lemon-citrus. Well constructed and refreshing, but not overly impressive.
Total Score: 39/50