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Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,889 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,889
Reviews: 1,277
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.53%
Wants: 53
Gots: 215 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 09-10-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,889 | Reviews: 1,277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kflorence
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque golden yellow with a fair amount of foamy head atop; a bit darker than I'm used to in this style, which is a welcome site.

S: Hops, grains, sweet malts, some metal... very acidic smelling. I can't say it's pleasant, but it isn't really a turn off either. Not repulsive and somehow compelling, even though it is an oddly bitter aroma.

T: This is a great warm weather brew. A generous amount of hops is the prominent flavor, but it is slightly tamed by a malty sweetness. Grains, corn, slight vanilla, some metal, and a very bitter, dry finish. Very pleasant and successfully quenches the summer beer craving.

M: Very light body with ample carbonation. This beer is smooth and light on the tongue, but still maintains some body, thanks in large part to the carbonation level. Feels great going down.

D: Very drinkable and also quite session-able. One of the better light warm weather beers and a nice example of a Pilsner.

kflorence, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of jenbys2001
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a mug of this beer while on vacation in the Czech Republic. After a long exhausting day of marching the frigid winter streets of Prague this beer tasted like liquid bliss. However, after reading these reviews I get the impression that this beer is much better on tap and close to the source (the way I tasted it). It's a light but very bitter pilsner. It was decent, but nothing astonishing. I imagine if I tasted other pilsners this one wouldn't stand out in my mind.

jenbys2001, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of SmashPants
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: a standard 330mL green bottle with a standard macro label.

Appearance: pours a clear straw yellow with a white head that fizzles down to a thin cap. Decent.

Aroma: standard but quality pilsner grains with some grass hops.

Taste: again pretty standard pilsner grains with some grass hops.

Aftertaste: not much on the finish - pretty standard for the style.

Mouth feel: light mouth feel with higher carbonation, makes it easier to put down fast, which is kind of the idea.

Overall: a pretty decent pilsner for an exception price at AU$40 a case of 24 x 330mL bottles. Worth it.

SmashPants, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of edchicma
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden appearance with good head that leaves quickly. Smell was a bit off...kind of like a skunky Heineken. Fortunately, taste was better...strong on the hops with slight malt presence. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent crispness. Drinkability is ok, especially for a sunny, hot day.

edchicma, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of MmmIPA
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden body with a small white head that fell very fat.Some bubbles.

Malt and grassy hops.

Hop bitterness and bready malt.

Dead on for carbonation and pretty smooth when it was cold,as it warmed it got a little harsh.

Really good and refreshing and would be a good beer for anyone who wants to break into the craft beer scene without drinking a beer thats to "craft" I liked it alot and would have again, on tap this time.

MmmIPA, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of beerphilosopher
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap for the purposes of this review ... appears a pale yellow color with a rocky white head and sporadic lacing in the pilsner glass. Nose is doughy, slightly floral, and just a little bit skunky, which is unfortunate. Palate is lightly malted and decently balanced with a hop counterbalance. Again, this beer has a bready character as well. Mouthfeel is light and it's decently carbonated. Pilsner Urquell is a standard for the style, I'm told. It's okay, and easy enough to drink. The beers I'm sampling have a nose that is slightly off, but it's not detectable in the flavor. Try it if you're into true pilsners.

beerphilosopher, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 330-ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - brilliant yellow colour with extraordinarily carbonated character versus my expectation, 1/4-inch sustaining head.

Smell - very hoppy with spicy malt scents. None of the bread aromas of the canned version.

Taste - malty and grainy, there's more bitterness and a lack of balance. Still, interesting flavours although more run-of-the-mill Euro beer.

Mouthfeel - pretty carbonated, at least the bitter finish comes through clean.

Drinkability - I would pass on this version of this superb brew. Much better value to seek out the can, which does not overcarbonate and has a much better taste - for cheaper. I am shocked at the variance between the 2 formats.

DoctorStrangiato, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of sauron681
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess I am to use to "generic" pilsners compared to the way pilsners are supposed to be.

Pours the typical golden color, very fizzy head, and light bubbles for the lacing.

Has the typical metallic/sulfur aroma. Starts smooth, with a dry feel and overly hoppy bitter aftertaste. Not to shabby for an original pilsner, but I will try some other brands as well.

sauron681, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of stephendr
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gold color , clear – decent white head –nose is soft, semi-floral, grassy , cereal, hopps , and malts , very clean - taste of sour / bitter , grassy , rice flavor , hops , and malts – dry bitter mouth feel – skunky , cereal , bitter and grass aftertaste

stephendr, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of JamisonM
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: its a shade darker then most pils and lagers a bright white head that went away really fast there is a bit of lacing on the glass though

S: I don't get anything from the smell its like smelling water I think they didn't use enough finishing hops in this beer.

T: I do get hops in the taste but none in the smell kinda odd but this is better then most macro pills and lagers at least taste wise

M: light mouth but its not too watery

D: yea nothing off putting and the hops are nice I just wish they had more finishing hops in the beer

overall: a fairly good summer beer and drinkable but nothing here stands out its good but it does not grab a hold of you and you say wow having said that its better then most better then stella and heineken and becks

JamisonM, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of TechMyst
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Container Volume: 660ml

Container type: bottle

Fresh: y

Purchased @: sullivans

Cost: 2.50

Head: minimal

Lace: decent

Reflected- ylo
Transmitted- ylo

Aroma: classic skunk

Mouthfeel: light

Palate: adjusts well

Balanced lager with rich character.

Comments: The taste is well balanced. Much like Heineken, but better; understandable why this is an original classic.

Mowing/Working on car- y
With Friends- y
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- y (session)

TechMyst, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of bnes09
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden colored lager. Weak head that thins to a few floating streaks of bubbles. No lacing. Lots of visible bubbles rising to the top.

Smell of bread grains, rice and lots of skunk. Mild on the nose yet spicy at the same time.

Mild, bread-like flavor with some rice adjuncts. Hops are lively with a ginger and pine-like spice. Lots of skunk in the taste as well. Smooth for half a second mid-drink then dry with a soapy aftertaste. A little more flavor than other examples of the style.

Light bodied overall. High level of carbonation, almost like sparkling water. Finishes dry.

Pretty much average for the style. Nothing special here. Still a crisp, refreshing, easy drinking beer.

bnes09, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fading gold with absolute clarity. Its complexion is dulled with little luster when held into the light. A dozen or so streams of carbonation go about their work with varying speeds of efficiency. None of them have had much success in rebuilding some sort of capping for the beer; its little bubbles simply can't muster the foam and even struggle with outlining.

Although this sample isn't quite sparkling or pristine enough to impress a drinker of my generation, I can certainly imagine the fascination of those who would have lived at a time where their drinking vessels had changed from opaque ceramics and metals to clear glassware and for the first time they could observe the dark, muddied beers they had been drinking. To no surprise, something this light and clear just seemed visibly more agreeable.

The smell embodies none of the zesty, floral hops and lightly toasted bread that defines the Czech pilsner as a style. If this is what the original really smelt like than I doubt the style would have caught on so much (thankfully I have tried enough fresh, uncompromised pilsners to discern the difference). For those of you who haven't, do yourself a favour and try to. The smell of fresh, spicy, tangy Saaz hops is an absolute delight for the senses.

If all this near sickeningly cloying industrial corn syrup is not a by-product of adjuncts than it must be of preservatives. I don't care what this 'best before date' reads; no pilsner is good for a year! Period. And furthermore, no pilsner I've had with preservatives has been good at all. It's odd to think that a beer boasting that it's been brewed since the mid 1800's could actually contain extracts that weren't developed until a century later.

There's little malt and even less hops; Pilsner Urquell may be the original pilsner but the original Pilsner Urquell wasn't so heavily filtered, infused with preservatives, then shipped overseas where it would spend months in a warehouse and months more on a shelf. It should be understood that the export lagers we receive here in North America are not at all like the beer that would be served to you at a table in Munich, Krakow, or Prague.

This is surely better than the score posted above. I plan to go to the Czech Republic and I will have Pilsner Urquell there, I recommend you do the same. I have no doubt we'll both like it immensely better. It's ashamed that after their long journey these classic European beers, those like Pilsner Urquell that are directly responsible for turning the entire world into lager drinkers, often taste as bastardized as the ones that so poorly try to duplicate them.

biegaman, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Laces quite well although the finger and a half of head doesn't retain itself for very long. The body is a pure clear gold, through and through that boasts steady carbonation with fairly large bubbles.

Smell: Pretty average to be honest. I'm getting some white cracker malt and a does of hops with a touch of skunking which I wouldn't expect from a can. Warming didn't help it's case.

Taste: It starts with a fairly very calm, almost cracker or flatbread like taste that offers a unique spicy herb tingle at the tip of the tongue. From there grassy hops that manage to stay subdued well enough for my liking come forward but regretably build with an end that tastes almost sandy.

Mouthfeel: There is a lot going on here as the spiciness of the hops and the exceptional carbonation seems to be playing fun game on your tongue as you drink it. Regrettably though, a clinging earth aftertaste lingers at the back of the tongue ruining the good times.

Drinkability: It's refreshing and light like a pilsener should be with a lot more flavour then it's adjunct imitators. However, the earthy aftertaste stops my ability to put back this beer. It's certainly not a smooth ride going down.

Final Thoughts: I make it no secret that bitter beer seldom agrees with me, and this beer isn't that much of an exception. Whatever is making that sandy/earthy taste needs to be pulled back. Despite that though, I would still recommend it though, as the experience while not to my liking does have an engaging quality to it that I can respect.

TheHammer, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pilsner Urquell pours a deep gold (darker than a lager). The head was short and dissipated quickly. Also there was a lot of carbonation, which made it almost look like ginger ale.

There is a lack of smell, but the little I could pick up was sweet.

Pilsner Urquell taste is dry and bitter. There is a floral grassy taste after the initial bitterness.

The beer has a decent body, that gives a the tongue a good tingle.

Overall Pilsner Urquell is a great tasting beer, but like many of the European pils and lagers it looks your mouth thirsty for more. To me it is definitely worth a try.

DrinkinBoy, May 23, 2007
Photo of Star80
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the can, bought a single, nice that this won't be light struck, also nice I won't be stuck with six of these! Beer is a golden color with LOTS of effervescence, a bit darker than I'd imagine it would be, quickly dissapating foam head. Smell is faint and of herbal noble hops, and some sweet malt. Taste is more of the same, slightly spicey hops, but honestly a bit flat, not spicey or piney enough, and an underwhelming bready middle. It is clean in the finish, almost crisp. You know, I have been seeking the perfect pilsner and though the impressive pedigree this just isn't it. I know a good one when I taste one and this is marginal at best. However, I think it is fairly drinkable cold on a hot day and probably would be quite refreshing.

Star80, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of Johnwesleyhardin
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A little more rich in color and has a better head than big brew american lagers.

S - Smells like a bud light. The smell is disappointing. But the flavor does make up for it to an extent. Very hard to pick out anything in the smell.

T - In spite of the smell, the taste works out to be pretty good. Certainly not outstanding, but I would be happy to have a few of them. Far better than the American lager smell would indicate. Very bitter at the end, but I don't mind bitter and actually liked that aspect of the flavor.

M - Has a pleasant mouthfeel, goes down easy.

D - The best part of this beer is its refreshingness. That quality is what makes it something I would buy occasionally. Good if kept chilled but not ice cold and would be nice for a warm day, outdoors. Goes well with nachos and baseball.

Johnwesleyhardin, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of MrVisegrips
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pilsner pours with a clear deep golden color. The head is light a frothy leaving a nice light lacing as you drink. The carbonation is medium light to start, but wanes as the beer is enjoyed. There is a nice mellow bitterness in the aroma and taste. The finish is a little dry for my personal liking, but is not unexpected of a Czech pilsner. Overall this is not at the top of my pilsner list, but it’s far from the bottom. An enjoyable beer for pilsner lovers.

MrVisegrips, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of jettjon
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber clear with a copious brownish tan head that fades slowly. Nose is somewhat fruity with hops. Fruity, hopsy flavor, quite balanced. Little bitterness, yet not bland. Watery, slightly flat mouthfeel. Little aftertaste, again slightly bitter. Nothing to write home about, but a decent mild beer.

jettjon, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of jeffaz02t
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: light-golden with loads of carbonation action. Very little head, though slight lacing occurs.

S: Bready crispness with a floral hops presence.

T: Basically like it smells, bready malts, with slight floral hops in the finish. Quite a clean taste, simple and to the point.

M: light body with a heavy level of carbonation. Goes down easily as it is so thin bodied.

D:I could pound these all night, though I would likely get slightly bored as this beer is what it is, a great and simple pilsner.

Notes: Very crisp beer and always one to fall back on from time to time. Not my favorite pilsner, but I would not turn my nose at this offering.

jeffaz02t, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Will1508
3.32/5  rDev -7%

Will1508, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep gold with a thin white head. Sweet grains on the nose with not much else.

Medium bodied with bright carbonation. Whisp of sweet grains turns to dry hop bitterness. Bright flavors good balance of sweetness and bitterness but there is a distinctive skunk flavor. The new packaging should prevent this right ? Herbal and earthy hop on the end. This beer tastes like I'd enjoy it if it didn't have a skunk flavor to it.

jtierney89, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes-

I’ve had this one many times over the years but it’s been so spread out that it’s hard to say if I can notice a difference in taste due to the altered brewing methods. Apparently they use mostly hop extract now, rather than whole cones, but my memory isn’t good enough to compare my review bottle with the older version.

A very clear, light gold beer with a smallish white head. Lacing is spotty but not bad.

Aroma is a little skunky, grassy and grainy with a bit of citrus. Typical Euro-Pils profile.

Flavor is much the same; clean and crisp, a bit skunky and bitter, just a touch of citrus; hops have a floral, grassy character. Light sweetness. Good carbonation makes it refreshing and easy to drink. Slightly metallic aftertaste. Medium-light body; a bit watery. Decent Pils, not particularly outstanding.

tobelerone, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of ProfessorHops
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- As gold as the honey on Pooh's pot.

Aroma-Very good sweet hops.

Pallet- Thick and round. Very bitter and complex. Almost bights. A lot of hops.

Finish- Long and bitter. Some sweat candy like that creeps from the bottom.

Guzzle Factor Per Style- Can be a quencher cause you can drink a lot of it. But a lot of breweries Pil's drink easier. The pilsners in my opinion, is to serve the purpose of being a beer that it to be enjoyed at picnics and base ball games. This beer could do that in the right hands.

Texture- Round lager.

Extra: This is the second time I've reviewed this beer. I liked it better this time. I thought the complexity was very cool. Also the candy in the finish was very cool.

ProfessorHops, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of GregStoner
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%

GregStoner, Oct 08, 2014
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.