Beer Man: This Magic Hat Imperial Pilsner is Truly Regal

Written by By Todd Haefer for The (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent

Magic Hat’s latest entry in its limited-edition Humdinger series lives up to that name.

Many times, breweries simply double the amount of hops in a beer and slap the “Imperial” designation on the label. That is lazy brewing. Sometimes, though, you get a beer like Over the Pils that “imperializes” each characteristic of a style to create a winner.

First off, kudos to Magic Hat for resisting the urge to use a piney, grapefruity American hop variety, like some Imperial pilsners I’ve sampled. If I want that type of beer, there are hundreds of American IPAs to choose from. If I want an Imperial pilsner, I want to taste lots of grassy, citrusy German-style hops.

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From the Bottle Collection: Archive

Here at Professor Goodales we treasure the work our columnists do, so we are starting a new feature. Once in a while, we will walk through the vast digital warehouse, not unlike where they stored the Ark in Indiana Jones, and republish an occasional archived article. This is our second archived edition…

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with…

…The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

This is going to be an interesting edition: I thought I’d combine a profile with the Bottle Collection, since the first time I had Theakston Old Peculier was quite a while ago.

The last time I had this was at a wedding in Utica, NY in the 80s and I almost threw fruit at the bartender. He kept insisting Old Peculiar was only “properly served” with fruit extract in it and an orange slice on the rim. He told me because dark beers were too bitter and “everyone drank it that way.” Of course by then I had had Guinness Foreign Extra in Montreal and I told him it wasn’t all that “dark,” or “bitter,” and I wouldn’t let him ruin such a grand experience.

He relented.

Maybe it was my threat I didn’t make to give him a very “personal” fruit filled experience. But I felt like saying that. I think he was surprised when after savoring the experience I ordered another, sans fruit, fruit slice and, oh, did I mention? He wanted to salt the rim of the glass too.


Typical beer ignorance that was so dominant in the 80s; a time when “exotic” sometimes meant a Miller Dark in many places. Of course Miller Dark was pretty much the same damn recipe as regular Miller except food coloring and maybe a pinch of some denser, roasty: more interesting, malts.

So I saw Old Peculier at Midtown in Nashville just before Turkey Day and said, “What the hell, let’s see if it’s as good as I remember.”

It was.

Peculier was named after the peculier of Masham. Yes, “Masham,” I’m sure, is an unintentional brewing pun. A “peculier” is a parish outside the jurisdiction of a diocese. Old P is an Old Ale: not classified as actual “Old P” which would be real disgusting, so let’s not dither on that thought, shall we? Yes, classified as “Old Ale” even though the original gravity is just a tad low for the style. You’d never know.

Caramel nose with malt accent: no hops sensed, Old Peculier is brown with great ruby-esk highlights. The mouthfeel is very low on the carbonation side and it tastes malty sweet with a few darker malts peeking out in the taste. No diacetyl. Not real dark, by any means. There’s a very slight peated sense to the malt. Though the carbonation is low in the mouthfeel it fills the mouth with slightly sweet malt. But there are bubbles in the body, in the glass.

White, rocky, head that fades fast.
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