Turbo Prop Imperial Pilsner

Review Date 12/25/2019  By John Staradumsky


For Christmas of 2015, my wife bought me a really cool present: BeerAdvent Calendar 2015 from Kalea. In truth, my wife got me a lot of nice presents (she’s the best wife ever), but the nice thing about the Beer Advent Calendar is you get it early. You have to, since it’s comprised of 24 different imported German beers in a box with little doors that you open, one per day from December 1st through December 24th. All of the beers are listed on the side of the carton, however, so be careful not to look and spoil the daily surprises!

I love German beer more than beer from any other country on Earth, so this was definitely right up my alley. I have managed to get my hands on one of these calendars each year since, and have never been disappointed. Overall, this is an amazing way to sample 24 German beers over 24 days, and I look forward to it every year. For the first three years, I've found these at Costco in Georgia and paid $59.95 for the box. Last year, though, we were in Spring Hill Tennessee and I saw these on a pallet at the local Costco in mid-October. I grabbed one there to make sure I didn't miss out. They were up $5 to $64.95 (and indeed, when I did see them at the new Costco in Woodstock, Georgia a month later they were the same price). This year, I found them earlier than ever (September 26th) and bought one at Costco here in Georgia for $63.95, though curiously they were down to $59.95 on my next visit.

That might sound steep, but when you distribute that price over 24 different half liter cans, it only works out to $2.66 per can. Not a bad deal at all looked at that way. It certainly does not stop these from selling; a follow up trip to my local Woodstock Costco a few weeks after I saw them and there they were: gone!

For 2019, there are six new beers in the mix and 18 returning favorites. I do like this, because there are a lot of the beers that I really enjoy, and want to enjoy again. It's like 18 old friends and 6 news ones in the same box. What's better than that?

I opened the door on Day 20 and was greeted by a can of H.-C. Bosch's Propeller Bier Turbo Prop Imperial Pilsner. This is what I like to see in the calendar, non-traditional (for German brewers anyway) beers from small German brewers. Actually, Propeller Bier is a quasi-small brewer. Founded in 2011 by Hans-Christian Bosch, it's an offshoot of his family business, Brauerei Bosch. That concern dates back to 1705, so brewing beer runs in the blood of the Bosch family.

A German imperial pilsner sounds intriguing. Propeller actually brews a number of styles, including IPA, imperial stout, and red ale. Here's what Propeller says about the style:

Der Bierstil Imperial Pils ist eine recht junge Erfindung. Die kreativen Brauer aus Deutschland haben durch die Craftbeer-Bewegung die alte Braumethode der Kalthopfung für sich wiederentdeckt. Inspiriert wurden sie vor allen von den unglaublich aromatischen India Pale Ales. Also wurden die Brauer kreativ und mixten einen alten deutschen Bierstil, mit der traditionellen Kalthopfung und zum Teil exotischen Hopfensorten. Das Imperial Pils ist quasi die Reinform des deutsches Kreativbiers. Als großer Anhänger dieses neuen Bierstils gilt auch der deutsche Bierpapst Professor Dr. Ludwig Narziß von der Brauuniversität Weihenstephan.

Allow me to translate, if I may:

The imperial pilsner beer style is a fairly recent invention. The creative German brewers have rediscovered the old brewing method of cold hopping  through the craft beer movement. They were inspired above all by the incredibly aromatic India Pale Ales. So the brewers got creative and mixed an old German beer style, with the traditional cold hopping and partly exotic hop varieties. Imperial Pils is practically the pure form of German creative beer. The German beer pope Professor Dr. Ludwig Narziß from the Brewing University Weihenstephan is also considered a big supporter of this new beer style.

Imperial Pilsner, they neglect to say, originated in the United States in the 1990s if memory serves. In those days, crazy American brewers were "imperializing" just about everything, making it bigger, bolder, and stronger.

Propeller says about their Imperial Pilsner:

Sie mögen Pils? -Sehr gut. Sie mögen auch viel Geschmack? -Noch besser. Dieses Bier ist nämlich kein gewöhnliches Pilsener sondern ein Imperial Pils. Es hat von allem mehr. Mehr Geschmack, mehr Hopfen, mehr Malz und mehr Alkohol. Zudem wird es zusätzlich im kalten Reifekeller noch mit der Edelhopfensorte "Citra" kaltgehopft. Das Ergebnis ist ein unglaublich fruchtiges Bier mit einer fantastischen Mangonote. Obwohl es mit der klassichen Bosch-Pils-Hefe vergoren wurde, kann man fast meinen es wäre ein obergäriges Bier. Zudem hat es eine sehr große Drinkability, so daß man es den ganzen Abend genießen kann.

Let's translate again:

You like Pils? -Very good. You also like a lot of flavor? -Even better. This beer is not an ordinary Pilsener but an Imperial Pils. It has more of everything. More flavour, more hops, more malt and more alcohol. In addition, it is cold-hopped in the cold ripening cellar with the noble hop variety "Citra". The result is an incredibly fruity beer with a fantastic mango note. Although it was fermented with the classic Bosch Pils yeast, one can almost think it would be a top-fermented beer. In addition, it has a very large drinkability, so you can enjoy it all evening.

My can from the Beer Advent Calendar is listed as 6.5% by volume. It is stamped EXP 05/2021.

H.-C. Bosch's Propeller Bier Turbo Prop Imperial Pilsner pours to a hazy orange golden color with a medium sized head of fluffy white foam and an inviting earthy hop nose with a gentle citrus note. Taking a sip, the beer is crisp malty up front with, surprisingly, a hint of caramel and biscuity malt. The hops are the star attraction here, herbal, earthy, and very grassy in the finish with big aromas of new mown hay and citrus fruit. The beer finishes with a pleasant kiss of bitterness.

Interesting malt profile here, almost akin to a pale ale rather than a pilsner. I would really like to know the malt bill, though this is not provided. The hops steal the show, big and beautiful and earthy and grassy.

I’m greatly enjoying my Beer Advent Calendar 2019 with the day 20 beer. Here’s looking forward to the remaining 7, and another assortment of 24 in 2020. We’ll be on the lookout next year at Costco once again! Follow them on their Facebook page.

The beers of the 2019 Beer Advent Calendar:

Day 1 Kauzle Helles Lager

Day 2 Hohenthanner Blau Weisse

Day 3 Schnaitl Brau

Day 4 Memminger Gold Marzen

Day 5 Kress Bayrisch Zwickel

Day 6 Erlkonig Hell

Day 7 Perlernzauber German Pale Ale

Day 8 Ladenburger Weizenbock Hell

Day 9 Burgerliches Brauhaus Altbairisch Hell

Day 10 Hosl Marzenbier

Day 11 Ankerbrau Nordlingen Grandl Helles Lagerbier

Day 12 Graminger Kirta Dunkles Weissbier

Day 13 Herrnbrau Jubilaums Sud

Day 14 Zwonitzer Rauchbier

Day 15 Edel Bayer Urtyp Hell

Day 16 Herrngiersdorf Hallertauer Hop Cuvee

Day 17 Schwarze Tinte Collab Stout

Day 18 Kurpfalz Bräu Helles

Day 19 Loncium Vienna Style Lager

Day 20 Propeller Bier Turbo Prop Pilsner

Day 21 Egerer Baren Weisse

Day 22 Schlossbrau Rheder Original Pils

Day 23 Wittmann Urhell

Day 24 Kartauser Doppelbock Dunkel

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned