Wow. I don't believe I remember a beer that reminded me more of sticking my nose right in a fresh handful of crushed hops. Have you ever been to hop harvest, grabbed a handful of fresh-picked hops, rubbed them together in your hands, and shoved your nose right in there and snuffed up hop? That's what this beer is like. The bitterness is there, it's huge and follows in on the gale of hop aroma and flavor, but it's the aroma. It's intense, it's full, it's full-body contact.
Is it a pilsner? No. And to tell the truth, the whole "this is an imperial pilsner" thing kind of doesn't do it for me, kind of pisses me off. But...if you're not going to call it an imperial pilsner, not going to call it a "double-hopped maibock," not going to call it a lager-brewed double IPA...what are you going to call it? I'm at a loss, and "imperial pilsner" fills that gap.
Can I drink more than one? Not on this 97 degree day at my bro-in-law's house in Virginia, no. Not most days, to be honest. But am I really rocking, really enjoying this one beer shoved frickin' full of noble hops? Hell yeah! Cheers, Jim Koch!
Hey, an interesting follow-up. The second bottle we opened got shared with some of the devoted wine drinkers at the party...and they liked it. "Complex, floral, fruity, very deep," comments like that. And I always thought that wine-drinkers didn't get hops. Maybe it's the Noble hops that did it. Have to look into this.