Oskar Blues returns for review this week, but this time in a less potent form. Mama’s Little Yella Pils is a Czech-style Pilsener brewed with pale and German specialty malts and a blend of Saaz and Bavarian hops (Saaz being the traditional hops used in the original Czech Pilseners).
Canned beer has been receiving a heck of a lot of attention recently as more and more craft breweries are beginning to wrap their beers in aluminum UV shielding, and Mama’s Little Yella Pils is one of the best antidotes to the “True Pilsner Beer” being marketed by the big boys of brewing.
If you’re looking for a quality (and ultra-portable) sessionable beer, look no further. The brewery’s original tagline for the lager was “Take Two and Call Us in the Morning,” but you may be tempted to take more than two of these little yella’ pups.
You should have no more trouble getting Mama’s Little Yella Pils than you would any of mama’s other ones. Well, you probably won’t find any in the bathroom medicine cabinet, but local shelves do stock it pretty regularly.
Style: Czech-style Pilsener
Alcohol content: 5.3% ABV
Package type: 12-ounce aluminum can
Serving vessel: Footed pilsner glass
Serving temperature: 40 degrees F
Rating: A- (4.15/5)
The pour brings about a wonderful first impression, showing off a sparklingly clear bright golden brew with a huge cap—no, make that a towering chef’s hat—of white froth. That impression wears off a little as the head does the same, as it is a little too thick and bubbly, almost like bubble bath, and leaves behind thick, almost ugly patches on the walls of the glass. Elegant on first appearance, but the canned-craft roots show through. Still, this is no poor looker.
Nice and appropriately mellow on the nose, with just a light sprinkling of spicy, floral Saaz hop notes and some hints of bready, grainy malt. No DMS here, thank you very much.
Mouthfeel is just as mellow as the nose, with a very mild carbonation and a medium body combining to provide a rather soft feel. A subdued, semi-sweet and bready malt base is just enough to hold it together as the hops are allowed to dance across the palate, though they are clad in evening gowns rather than hoochy skirts – in other words, exciting yet restrained. Slightly spicy, a little grassy, a touch floral, the hops balance the malt base perfectly without overpowering, lending to a lightly dry finish that keeps this little yella’ pils going down.
No bold, in-your-face macho American interpretation here – just good, clean, Czech-style Pilsener goodness wrapped in aluminum casing. If Oskar Blues had the resources of any of the “big three,” Mama’s Little Yella Pils would fit comfortably in an 18-pack at eye level at any Wal-Mart – and would probably sell twice as fast as anything already there.