I've never understood the idea behind an Imperial Pilsner. Pilsners, in my mind anyway, are supposed to be light, crisp and refreshing. When a beer has "Imperial" in the name, it pretty much implies it will be none of those things. However, Collaboration No. 1 from Boulevard and Orval manages to maintain all those aspects.
Although Collaboration No. 1 is bottled as part of the Smokestack series from Boulevard, it was brewed in collaboration with Jean-Marie Rock of the Trappist brewery Orval and is inspired by a Pilsner that he brewed over 30 years ago near the beginning of his career.
Golden yellow in the glass with a thick frothy head fed by some pretty active carbonation. The first glass of it was clear,but the second was a little cloudy from the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Grassy, lemony and bready aromas. Begins with flavours of sweet malts, apples and pears which is then followed by a more bready malt flavour. The finish is crisp and dry with a lingering spiciness. Very smooth and refreshing and the 8% ABV is hardly noticeable, if at all. This was a very drinkable beer and the best Imperial Pilsner that I've had. I'd like to pick up another bottle or two and enjoy one with a meal next time.