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Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

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3,074 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,074
Reviews: 1,326
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 66
Gots: 336 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,074 | Reviews: 1,326
Photo of samie85
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Apr 6, 2012.

A-Pours a clear golden color with a finger and a half of white head.

S-Smells a little skunky with some light caramel notes and an earthy, herbalness.

T-Herbal hops fade into a light caramel-like malt backbone and finishes herbal almost peppery and bitter finish.

M-Slick yet prickly feel with a medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

D-A pretty solid beer, but I assumed I could avoid that kind of skunky aroma with the can. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into stange style glass.

Pours with a healthy 2F worth of fluffy/foamy white head over a fairly clear golden body with tons of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas contain lots of cardboard, touch of floral hops, and some of the typical Euro lager funk.

Creamier on the palate than I expected. Full of flavor for the style, with a nice balance of rich malted barley and rounded bitterness. Would've expected a touch more bite on the mouthfeel, but the smoothness is pleasant and not too buttery.

Overall, I have to give this high marks. It's pleasant, refreshing, and incredibly easy to drink.

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 aeolianshredhead
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

,A- That pale yellow colour I have come to expect with an average, frothy white head. Decent.

S- A decent nose. There is a slight caramel maltiness intermingling with a citrus hop overtone. Thanks to the green bottle, there is also a noticeable level of skunk. Even so, this is not unpleasant.

T- Stock standard. I wasn't exactly expecting a complex bonquet but this delivers nothing more than any other 'big name' Pilsner. Maybe there is a very slight caramel undertone but this could be wishful thinking. In saying all that, however, this is far from being actually bad. I knew what I was getting and this beer delivers exactly that: Citrus hops all the way with a balance of malts with a slightly lingering bitter aftertaste.

M- Not as light as I was expecting. A decent body with some nice, fizzy carbonation. Works perfectly for this beer.

O- Well, this brew doesn't disappoint, that's for sure. However, it doesn't really add anything new or different to the world of pilsners out there. Its biggest problem is that it really lacks a defining character. Still, I did enjoy this for that familiar taste, plus it was incredibly easy to suck down.

Photo of JamesPGH
4.7/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: A pale/ golden yellow body with a thick, creamy white head.

Smell: Slight floral hops with a nice amount of bread smell followed by grains and malty sweetness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: An extremely clean taste. A distinct, but not overpowering, hop flavor followed by a perfect malty sweetness. One of my favorite beers. The mouthful was light and clean.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable beers I've had. The smooth, clean taste without the overpowering hops make it easy to finish a few.

Overall: One of my favorite beers. The malty sweetness and smell are the highlights of the beer. Wish it was on tap around me.

Photo of K9AleingPiss
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was excellent,a bubbling bold yellow and yet had the translucency of a pilsner. I began instantly thinking of harvest time,invisioning centered in the middle of a hot wheat field,but then feeling a crisp clean cool storm front sweeping a fresh thirst quenching breeze. However there is no storm in your mouth,only an even distribution of wheat,barley,and hops that effervescence with just the right amount of alohol. The only disappointment was I could only have 1. A great beer.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely fresh, this keg was brought directly from the brewery by master brewer Vaclav Berka. Enjoyed at Smith Commons in D.C. for the Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer Competition. Thanks to afdempse for bringing me along as his guest.

Served in a Pilsner Urquell pils glass. The beer is crystal clear, light golden in color, and effervescent. An inch of thick, white head perches atop the beer for several minutes. As the head gradually recedes, a cascade of lacing gently slides down the glass. A picturesque appearance made for a photograph or advertisement.

Here's where I was stunned. The aroma emitted absolutely no skunked or off flavors, as is often the case with Pilsner Urquell, especially when served from a green bottle. I truly wish breweries would cease using green bottles. As the beer warmed a bit, the aroma grew in strength. Mouth watering scents of pils malt, bread, and grain.

An awesome flavor. Bread, yeast, grain. Chuggable. Complex and wonderful, yet light and simple. I am shocked by the deliciousness, as I never suspected Pilsner Urquell could achieve this level of quality.

Perfect carbonation level. Smooth on the palate. I had four glasses of this before the kegs ran out, which was a sad moment.

Overall, a markedly different experience than I have ever had with Pilsner Urquell. If you ever have the opportunity to try this beer when it's really fresh, it is certainly worth your time and effort.

Photo of tdm168
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, clear gold with carbonation bubbles racing to the top. There's about an inch of frothy head with nice retention. In the nose the hops are noticeable as is the lager yeast; a little musty, but welcomed for the style. In the taste I notice grains and malt up front that add a little sweetness, but then the hops come through and add a decent amount of bitterness that really rounds this beer out nicely. There is just a hint of yeast in the aftertaste; very subtle. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, smooth, and well carbonated.

Photo of kenatbeerswap
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: Golden color that poured with a nice size head but disappeared quickly.

S: Had a slight floral aroma.

T: Had a nice maltiness with balanced bitterness and a slightly spicy taste.

M: Medium body with low carbonation.

O: Crisp beer that is well balanced between the malt and the hops.

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A) There is a nice golden shine, and about an inch of white foamy head. The head was not maintained for a lengthy duration. No lacing noted.

S) Grain and slight hop bitterness. There is a morning dew on a recently mowed lawn quality to this one.

T) I wasn't blown away by the flavor, but it works out well enough. It just feels pure. A nice combination of grain and a distinct type of hops. The finish is slightly bitter and dry.

M) This is light IMO, moderately carbonated. The feel is okay.

O) This is a pretty good patio beer, as it is crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day. Glad I picked up a single to enjoy, but I don't think this will be in my regular rotation.

Photo of JRed
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours transparent pale gold with bubbly white head. Aroma of spice hops, slight sweetness, wet grass. Malt sweetness mingles with spicy hops, grass and clean bitterness. Residual sweetness and crisp hop flavor rides out the taste. Medium carbonation and light body. A classic and enjoyable the whole pint through.

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

poured from bottle into pint glass

appearance- a golden color with bubbly head

smell- light and grassy smell of hops

taste- a very solid pilsner taste, not overly hoppy good balance

mouthfeel- pretty average for a pilsner

overall- a solid pilsner and the original

Photo of rvdoorn
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: the beer pours a clear-yellow-golden color with a huge fluffy head.
Smell: malts, flowery and spicy saaz hops.
Taste: malts, flowery and spicy hops, grass, with a nice bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, high carbonation.
Overall: Nice pilsner, smooth and drinkable

Photo of obrendano
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic which I had not yet tried

A - body is very pale and clear without being grainy looking, head needs a little help to stay fluffy, but sticks around in small lacing for a bit

S - very clean crisp lager nose with floral hop notes

T - very nice pale malt flavor, notes of lemons, oranges, black pepper, biscuits, and pizza crust. hop bitterness is present but subdued, maybe slightly stronger than the average pils, but still very nice and in character.

M - no frills lager crispness with a bit more body than expected, no major complaints really

D - I can see how this could have really gotten people thinking differently back in the day. Today it doesn't stick out from the pack like it should, but has its place. good brew here.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Thanks Steve for contributing to the cause.

Appearance: Pilsner Urquell pours a transparent golden straw color with a 3 cm fluffy white head. Lots of medium sized bubbles work their way up from the bottom to reinforce the head, which retains well and leaves some nice lace.

Smell: Softly sweet pilsner malt, and a relatively complex blend of earthy, musty, and pungent hops. This is not my preferred hop aroma, but I like it better now than I used to.

Taste: The flavor starts out with a soft pilsner malt that stays surprisingly sweet throughout the sip. A little bit biscuity as well, but eventually the pungent, strong noble hops come into play. A firm bitterness brings a skunky (not to be confused with skunked) ammonia flavor toward the end. The finish is bitter, but the carbonation helps clean it up a bit.

Mouthfeel: The visible carbonation ends up adding a medium crispness to the mouthfeel. There is a hint of creaminess up front, but the carbonation makes sure to cut away any remaining flavors to leave the finish very clean. Light bodied.

Overall: This is a pretty decent beer, one that is worth having every now and again and certainly better that some other 'import' beers I have had. I am intrigued to have it at the brewery sometime; I have heard it is a completely different experience trying the unadulterated version.

Photo of ckollias
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Light golden-copper ale with a frothy two-finger head that quickly dissipates into a thin wispy lace.

S: Strong grainy - malty aroma. There is a spicy herbal hop scent and an aroma fresh cut grass!

T: Smooth with a strong hop bitterness. Crisp taste with a slighty sweet and grassy malted barley flavor. Spicy hops flavor with hints of lemon in the background followed by a dry finish.

M: Thin body and medium carbonation.

O: Not the typical beer I drink but I a nice take on the style.

Photo of G2Brew
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had a sense that I was picking at nits, real or imagined, when I was trying to determine the differences between Summit's "Bohemian Style Pilsner" and the Czechvar and Pilsner Urquel I had sampled previously.

The only way to really know the difference is in a careful, side-by-side test. So, I poured one glass of each beer. I was in a “primitive” situation, without enough proper pilsner glasses, so I used wine glasses to keep it even. Poured at 45 degrees F. Let the tasting begin!

Visually, the three are very, very close. The Summit and the Czechvar are virtually indistinguishable, even side-by-side. The Urquel is a shade darker. All were clear enough to read a newspaper through them (until the glasses fogged up due to the excessive humidity here.) Let me say up front, the Urquel is in a class by itself. It was not only a shade darker, but also had more grain and more Saaz hops aroma. Likewise, it had not just more, but a mellower flavor, even though it has a bit more hop bite. Pilsner Urquel is an amazing beer. Carbonation among the three was nearly identical, with the Summit having almost imperceptibly more – evidenced only by the higher volume of bubbles ten minutes after the pour.

So, the competition really came down to a race for second, between the Summit and the Czechvar.

The summit has a bit more lacing, and better foam than either of the Czech brews. Understand that none of them has a lot of foam. But the Summit’s head retention was impressive.

The aroma (where the Urquel first ran away from the group) was very close between the Summit and the Czechvar. The Czechvar takes this one, but just barely. The Czechvar has more Saaz, and I admit, I’m a sucker for Saaz. The intensity of the grain aroma is about equal, but slightly different. The Czechvar has a bit more of that unique, earthy, richness of the Bohemian Pilsner malt. That said, the Summit’s aroma is very pleasant, and a bit lighter, but not in a bad way. Cleaner, perhaps. Some corn aroma.

The Summit has the best mouthfeel of the three – not overwhelmingly so, but slightly less watery.

Now for the big one: taste. Again, Urquel wins hands down. The flavor is full of Bohemian pils malt, and Saaz hops. Mmmm...Saaz. Yeah, baby, this is what a Bohemian Pilsner is supposed to taste like. The only better Pilsner I’ve had is Urquel on tap in Europe.

Now, for the other two:

Summit is very nice. Some good pilsner malt, but with a touch of corn. That makes it less earthy and rich than the true Bohemian, but still very pleasant. The corn doesn’t help it, if the goal is to be true to the Bohemian style, but this is a good “drink-all-day” beer. I think it would be improved without the corn and with a touch of carapils (which I suspect is what makes the Urquel darker and tastier) and definitely would be better with a bit more hops, especially late-boil and dry hops for flavor and aroma.

Czechvar has a bit more character in the flavor than Summit, and it’s a tad richer, even though it’s not darker. The hops taste is almost on par with the Urquel. It’s not as rich as the Urquel, but better than the Summit.

Of the three, my order of preference is 1) Pilsner Urquel, 2) Czechvar, and 3) Summit “Bohemian Style” Pilsner. The Summit and Czechvar are so close that it comes down to a matter of preferences. If you want a little more of the Bohemian malt flavor and Saaz hops, then go with the Czechvar. Taste wise, I think the Czechvar wins, but if appearance is more important to you, go with the Summit. If you want a cleaner tasting lawn mower beer, the Summit is great cold. But in the end, if you want a Bohemian style Pilsner, there is no substitute for the original -- Pilsner Urquell IS Bohemian Pilsner.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cedar Point, Day Two: stopped for a quick bite before heading back into the park. It’s always a good time to try an original, style-defining beer, so I decided to finally get a bottle of Pilsner Urquell. I believe it was my first Czech beer, too. Seems like a great place to start!

Bottle served in Sandusky, OH at Ruby Tuesday. Reviewed from notes taken on 07-06-2011.

A: Beautiful golden shine on the body. Awesome, fluffy Pilsner head that leaves pretty good lacing. Aside from the head leaving almost instantly, it’s the perfect Pilsner look.

S: First off the block is an unexpected earthy fruitiness that reminds me of a good hefe; banana and grape aromas are big. Not a lot of hops (isn’t that the hallmark of a pils?), but what’s there is a tiny hint of tartness throughout. Great bright yeasts, too, giving this hearty intro a Belgian feel. It’s pleasant, but the near-absence of hops troubles me.

T: A very fruity and mellow palate upfront, with spicy yeasts behind. A small bit of hops also appears, but, sadly, it fades quickly. Yeasts sweep in and steal the aftertaste, making it smooth and slightly bready in the end. Not complex at all, but a pretty good drink.

M: A little oilier than it should be, with a lack of bubbles that is strange for the style. A bright, crisp feel would have been perfect; unfortunately, that’s not the case.

O: I’ve had better Pilsners, but this one has some unique, import-style flavors that I wasn’t expecting (but still enjoyed). At the very least, I can certainly respect this classic.

Photo of navinsula
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured beer in glass, it was a nice golden color as a pilsner should be. I poured agressivly and sitll only had a finger and a half of head. The smell was very nice with a hint of honey and saaz hops. The tast was very crisp and although the malt was there the hops are what stood out and left a slight bitterness in my mouth. this is a great beer and is my favorit pilsner.

Photo of flyingpig
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden amber & clear with plenty of visible bubbles rising in the glass. The beer forms as nice sized, bubbly white head that has pretty good retention & slowly subsides to leave a finger sized, foamy head.

Quite sweet & has lots of maltiness in the mix. Is is slightly skunky but nothing major to hinder it and this is followed up by some nice hops.

Sweet with strong hints of grassy hops in the initial sip here, this is quickly followed up by a blend of bread and biscuit.

Very smooth the entire way through this drink and the carbonation is good too, it feels excellent to drink and goes down a treat.

A solid pilsener that I will no doubt go back to time & again; it's not anything brilliant but it tastes, feels & looks good and would hold its own.


Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice golden color with a white fizzy head on it. There wasn't any lacing at all on this beer. The head settles leaving just some clumps of white on top of the beer. The smell of the beer isn't overly grassy, Thankfully. The aromas are hoppy and grainy with just a touch of grass. The taste has a good bitterness to it. The hops leave a dry bitterness in the back of your mouth after each sip. The mouthfeel is light and kind of refreshing. Overall it's a decent drinkable Pilsner.

Photo of molegar76
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First thing I noticed after pouring from green bottle to glass was the skunky smell. Overpowering. Lacing was minimal and faded quickly. Bottle had exp date and was still within freshness date.

Taste was like drinking a milwaukee's best with some skunk. Just couldn't get over the skunky smell to finish my second bottle. Almost $10 a sixer, I would have been better off getting Bud Light.

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

The first time I drank this, was from a green bottle and never could recover from the skunky smell. I found a single 500 ml can, so want to try again. Plus I can add the can to my collection.
Two tone gold and dark green can, "The original pilsner from Pilsen". Best before date stamped on the bottom.
Shimmery golden color with a puffy white head. Decent retention, foam tightens and shrinks, but doesn't disappear, good looking lace too.
Smell has some grassy hops, a touch of malt sweetness, and guess what - no 'green bottle skunk'.
Taste has some sweet, grain malt flavors. Lots of earthy hoppiness. Crisp and clean, what a true pilsner should be. Light (but appropriate) body and mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.
Long live the UV light protecting can!

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight from the bottle

A: A deep golden color, not quite as light as other lagers but similar. It has a fizzy head that lingers just a bit.

S: Aroma is very bitter and biscuity.

T/M: Tastes malty as well with some graininess, perhaps rye. The smell is actually better than the taste.

It’s not a bad beer at all, but it’s not quite as great as I remember it. I wonder if it had anything to do with the string of flavorless American adjuncts that I had before trying this.

Photo of rundocrun
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in (what else?) a pilsner glass.

A - Pours what appears to be a pale straw color at first, as the glass fills it turns out to be a richer honey gold. About a finger of pristine white head that fades slowly. Effervescent champagne-like bubbles float up.

S - Rich, malty, bready aromas are prevalent here. Very mild hop aroma wafts up too.

T - Taste is somewhat different from what I expected regarding the nose. A very striking honey-like sweetness rides from the middle through the finish. Up front I get hints of hop bitterness, and pale roasted grains. Incredibly smooth though, which is what I was expecting from this legendary pilsner.

M - Smooth! From start to the very finish this is a drinkable beer. Only a very slight stickiness remains afterwards.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 3,074 ratings.