1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

3,128 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,128
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 70
Gots: 375 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s. visit their website
Czech Republic

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 09-10-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 3,128 | Reviews: 1,345
Reviews by marcobrau:
Photo of marcobrau
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I still say that there's nothing like the "original" pilsner -- as the marketers would say -- and that is Pilsner Urquell.

Sure the hop aroma has faded a bit over the years, but the fluffy head hasn't. The hop flavor, the peppery spiciness isn't quite there anymore, but the peppery hop flavor is still food. Urquell is still a bitter lager and that's why its still my favorite Czech beer. Now, don't get wrong, I like some of the more balanced Czech pilsners like Budvar (er, Czechvar) or Staropramen, but I've always appreciated that bitter bite in a Pilsner Urquell. The trick is to find a retailer that takes good care of their bottles. This beer needs to be consumed as fresh as possible. Those hops fade fast. Not really a pretty beer (the head always falls quickly), but decent pils that is very low alcohol for those that have to get to work early in the morning.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw colored with brilliant clarity and a persistent, low white head of cream bubbles.

S: A moderate grainy pils malt aroma and a light spicy noble hop aroma dominate the aroma. There is a very slight metalic aroma in the background. There is also a light bready malt aroma. No diacetyl and no esters.

T: A refreshing balance grain pils malt and moderate hops bitterness with a moderately-low noble hops flavor. The balance is somewhat bitter. There is a light pils sweetness mid palate but it resolves into a dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

M: Moderately-light bodied with a moderately-high carbonation. There is no warmth and a slight creaminess.

O: This is a good beer but a great example of the style. I wish this beer was served in abundance at the NYS Fair on a sunny, warm day like today. This is about as crisp and refreshing as a beer get while still having a great taste.

Photo of vinnicheers
5/5  rDev +40.1%

i have this on tap in my pub, this is one of my favorite beer in the world, i love the Saaz hops from Bohemian and Moravia regions, this is a beer i can drink everyday..

Photo of pb9613
4.79/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have bought this beer off and on for several decades and always wondered why it has lasted so long. The beer always had an off smell and skunky taste.

I just bought my third half liter can and can tell you this beer is amazing. I guess the long trip in the bottles was not good for the beer. If you tried this one in the past and thought it tasted off, buy it in the can and pour it into a pilsner glass. The experience is amazing.

Photo of oberon
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice straw color with a nice wellretained head (looks great in a pilsner glass), high carbonation.Aroma in light and a little iron-like with some sofy bread notes.Some rather sharp hop notes in the finish of this beer it starts out a little malty sweet,a very crip and easy drinking beer.Real nice on tap as well.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a clear but heavy orange in color with a good, strong, stubborn white head.

Smell – The hops are light and delicate and mate well with the smallest of grain influence. The nose here is well-balanced and nicely put together.

Taste – The delicate but firm grain mixes nicely with the traditional hops. The balance is what really makes this Pils, IMHO.

Mouthfeel – This is big, I’d say a solid medium-bodied, with some light carbonation and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This really is the standard for accessible Czech Pils here in the US. It went down wonderfully. I can’t believe I’m not getting a review up on the site for this guy until Jan 2005.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pils poured a straw yellow with no head nor lace in my pint glass. The aromas of grain, grass, and yeast were all there with strong notions of malt. THe drink was smooth and crisp with a bit of hop finish that lingers way too long. There is a little bit of metal/rusty water in the background that is offensive, but the maltiness does keep the offensive notes in the background. Overall a bit above average and not nearly as good as it used to be when I was drinking it ten years ago.

Photo of sgoodship
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had any quality lagers in years and I wanted to try this one because my brother in-law lived in Russia for a while and developed a taste for it.

A: Nice white finger head. Quickly dissipated to a thin ring and a dusting. Clear with a straw yellow gold color. Nice columns of carbonation rising. Lagers are always so inviting to look at aren't they?

S: Pretty clean. A little skunk, a little malt and a little hop. Not very bold and not that impressive. Smelled more malty during the last half of the drink.

T: Malt is a little lost. Hop seems to come through strongly. Some citrus. You are left with a very grassy sour hop finish. From half way to the end, it felt more balanced. I felt more of the malt up front and the finish seemed to simmer down.

M: Light body, crisp and well carbonated.

D: My main complaint with this beer was how aggressive the aftertaste was for the first half of the drink. I like hops but this was too much of the wrong type of acidic bitterness. Apart from that, I had no problems downing it and found it enjoyable.

Photo of JMD71
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured, this had a nice, smallish head with a slightly fruity, malty aroma. It had a nice crisp mouthfeel, smooth malty flavor with a slightly hoppy finish. I found this to be very easy drinking & thirst quenching for a warm day or after long day's work.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

This beer went from cult status to mass-produced over the past couple of decades. Even without a recipe change, many have noted a difference.

Clear and deep golden, filtered and pasteurized for extended shelf life. The lacing and head retention of this lager is quite amazing as it leaves a massive crowning ring on the glass and several rings further down. Clean, spicy herbal hop aroma with a graininess that is of fresh cut grass. Very smooth and crisp with a moderately-sized body. Sweet maltiness with biscuity and dried hay flavors. Bitterness from the hops helps to balance the small amount of malt sweetness that is present and goes a bit further with a pleasant spicy herbal note. Finishes dry with a faint metallic taste which is no doubt a by-product of the pasteurization.

A shell of its former self: globalization, growth and popularity all have their drawbacks, and you can see it in today's PU. Processed and overly clean compared to years past, yet still worth a try if you have not tried it before.

Photo of Todd
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz green bottle with a foil neck wrap. No freshness date, but there is a batch number.

Appearance: Golden and clear with a lot of C02 activity. The heads stays as a thin creamy lace with bubbles.

Smell: Mild sulfur notes, with aromatic medly of light hop and malt.

Taste: Crisp and refreshing straight from the begining. A nice amount of dextrin sweetness, followed by a lemony tea-like hop flavour. Finishes with a strong aftertaste.

Notes: Claiming to be "The First Pilsner On Earth," this brew is by far the grandfather of the Pilsner style.

Update 12/29/2001 ...

This beer has definitely been altered/modernized, along with its packaging. This is not the same Pilsner Urquell your daddy used to drink. Softer on the palate now with less hop character and its "skunk" character has been smoothed out a lot.

Once the defining Pilsner, now not much different than any other mediocre to average Czech Pils. And, although the beer is brewed at the same location, all of the brewing equipment has been replaced by modern equipment and the hops are now 75% hop extract!! -- no wonder it tastes different now.

Photo of twi1609372
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well this stuff is worth a try. It has an actually good flavor. i wouldent say unique, i still perfer becks for this type of beer, but this is by no means bad. Goes down easy and is all around pretty good. The main sore spot i found was this beer has a lingering aftertaste, more so than most other beers, it isnt horrable but it is noticeable.

Photo of grynder33
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a darker golden color, with a quick disappearing head. Aroma was moderarately hoppySoft but full and very satisfying first taste, with a crisp tingly mouthfeel. Pleasant lingering aftertaste, much bolder than its American counterparts. A definite step up from Miller and Bud and available everywhere.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz green bottle with no freshness date. I grabbed this bottle from the cooler out of an unopened case ... so there is not chance of this beer being light-struck.

A- Bright shimmering golden hue, good white lacing on top.

S- Spicy hops with a canned Mandarin orange citric aroma to them, big waft of grassy grain in the nose as well.

T&M- Just as smooth as it is crisp. Strong hop bitterness, sweet grassy malted barley brushes across the palate with dry biscuity notes. Spiciness from the hops is pronounced with a light and dry finish that holds a long road of flavor.

D- With the use of hop extracts this beer almost tastes too fresh ... or perhaps I am used to old bottles. Either way it is pretty damn bitter, which is not a bad thing ... simply, it is not the same beer from years gone by but it still is a quality brew I would not mind visiting once in a while.

Photo of Rifrafboy
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This came out of a nice big bottle. Pours like a typical European Pilsner, with a dry white head. Smell is malty and fruity. Very skunky, but not so much it detracts from the taste. Taste is very smooth and malty. The hops are very pronounced, being nicely bitter. Vey bold taste. Excellent mouthfeel. A bit more body than German Pilsners. This is one of the best.

Photo of merlin48
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found a 6 pack of this on sale at a local grocery. It pours a straw yellow color into a pint glass with modest white head that quickly fades.

Weird nose of skunky hops, stale hay, and something metallic.

Mouthfeel is an exciting blend of moderate carbonation and bittering hops.

Taste is dry, bitter, grainy, and mineral salts. For some reason, it's a decent drinking pils. A bitter hoppy pils that finishes crisp and dry.

Overall, has decent drinkability but a weird taste. An odd beastie here.

Photo of nem2006
2.36/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It is a nice, clear golden which had a little bit of a head. The head dissipated quickly.

The smell was skunky at first and lessened a little as I let it warm, but still remained.

I thought the taste had an odd bitterness from the hops which lingered well after you swallowed. I caught a little bit of hay/grasses in the taste.

I'll be honest, I was really turned off by this beer and do not really recommend it. But plenty of others seem to be pretty high on it, so I will have to try it another time.

Photo of animal
5/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A true classic. What is to be expected from the original pilsner. The perfect combination of taste, smell, drinkability, appearance, and mouthfeel. This is truly the standard by which all pilsner- style beers are, or at least ought to be measured! Cheers!!

Photo of Homebrew35
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle best by Dec 2011 $1.85
Pours one fingers worth of very creamy white head. A nice cap remains for a fair bit. Crystal clear "extra" pale yellow body.

Smells of sweet yeasty bread, fruity notes typical of lagers. Straightforward and fairly simple but good.

Tastes grainy, very cereal like, some grassy hops. A fair amount of hop bitterness mixed with some astringent grainy and grassy notes.

Thin bodied with good carbonation keeps this one prickly and pleasant in the mouth. The finish some what quite flavorless and mineral water like.

Overall I expected more from this one. Not bad but I guess I was hyped up to try this and expected awesome flavor and love for this one. I could have a few of these in a sitting but it won't be my first choice.

Photo of tigg924
1.77/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: high carbonation, clear, medium head, gold

Smell: sulphur and wheat

Taste: better than the smell, but not great. Very light wheat

Mouthfeel: light and semi-sweet

Drinkability: This hides the alcohol well. I think the smell really threw me for a loop. I think there are way better beers around and this is one I will not come back to.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is grass and bread with a little bit of citrus mixed in. The flavor has a little bit of bitterness from the hops, as well as some bready malt. I also get a little bit of spice from the hops which mixes very well with the other components. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of LyonsHead
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: this beer looks clean and refreshing, pale color leads you think its a thirst quenching beer

S: not impressed with the smell at all. Don't know if its the Saaz but i detect an off skunky smell. don't really like that smell

T: Thankfully, it doesn't taste like it smells. It is a quenching beer, distinct hoppiness.

M: finishes with a hint of the skunky flavor. Maybe skunky is the wrong word, Im not entirely sure this beer is for me though. Try it youself to find out

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old favorite that I haven't had for a while. Good to return to one's roots.

Poured into a Steam Whistle pilsner glass. Solid golden hue, loads of visible carbonation. An aggressive pour made for a two inch high head, that survived as a patchy thin layer. Small flecks of lacing up and down the glass. Not bad.

Nose is sweet, slightly floral, with notes of honey and bittering hops.

Starts off surprisingly malty, but the finish is all bittering hops. A touch of honey and dry white wine as well. Finish is long and bitter. I must say that although the hops are certainly present, there isn't much character to them. Still, the can has done a good job of preserving the flavor.

Medium bodied for a pilsner, good consistant carbonation.

A refreshing brew, a good introduction to the style. Sweeter and fruitier than I'd remembered, but certainly bitter to the finish. I much prefer the can version to bottles, and at just over 2 bucks a can, it's not a bad way to get your Czech on.

Photo of mattster
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opened 12 fl oz bottle and poured into Weisen glass.

Pours nice head of 1.4" which dies down to after a minute. Brew is clear yellow to lt amber with bubbles.

Initial smell is typical import beer smell, but after a couple of minutes, it opens up to slightly floral aroma with herbal tones. Taste is initially slightly sour, but bitterness becomes more palatable. Finishes with minimal aftertaste. Not a great beer, but definitly a good alternative to BMC brews.

Photo of Byeast
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An effervescent and deep golden hue in my pilsener glass. Well retained quarter inch head. Smell is of slighty sweet barley and spicy-grassy hops. Taste is of soft barley qualities , some lemongrass , and a pleasantly bitter saaz hop finish. Mouthfeel is soft yet bubbly. This Og pilsner , Plzensky Prazdroj is utterly pils. A great beer : refreshing and satisfying. Will definatly be getting more of these golden gifts.

to view more.
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 3,128 ratings.