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Pilsner Urquell - Plzeňský Prazdroj

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,376 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,376
Hads: 3,398
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 25.34%
Wants: 76
Gots: 519 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilsner Urquell Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,376 | Hads: 3,398
Photo of hockeyhead
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep golden color that leads to a creamy small bubbled head
S: intense drying citrus hops and noble hops and little bit of barley malt
T: sweet buttery to start with then slowly drys to a noble hop velvety bitterness very good
M: medium body that travels down as smooth as a babys ass
D: great i can drink a whole twelve pack

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Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to find this is large European-style cans the other day, and truly this beer is better for it. I have enjoyed this beer on many occasions in the bottle as it is an easy compromise beer for people more accustomed to 'BMC' beers (and they, as well as I always love it). I really just wanted to mention that this beer is available in cans if anybody is interested. If you can find it in your area I think it's worth it, tasted much fresher.

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Photo of AccidentalKate
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice head, that seems to last forever. Clear in look, but an orange tint to the base golden color.

Aroma: floral, with a nice hit of hops. Little bit of malt beneath it all. A little weak for a pilsner, but still present.

Taste: A little watery, to be honest. Though the malt is there up front, and a bit of bitterness that hits midway, this beer seems to be more water than flavor. It's not off. Just weak.

Mouthfeel: Like I mentioned before, watery, and only little bit of carbonation. Average.

Drinkability: This beer looks better than it tastes, and even smells better than it tastes. I'm trying to put in my mind what a pilsner should taste like, but I'll be damned if I think this is the best example of one.

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Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer quite a few times, but this was the first time out of the can. I figure the can does a better job of protecting the beer from light than green glass. I poured it into a pilsner glass. It is very clear with a deep golden color. I enjoyed the balanced aromas between the hops and malt flavors. Because of it coming from a can, there was none of the typical skunkyness that many associate with European lagers. Bitterness ruled the day with this beer though the semi-sweet flavors of the malt did attempt to balance the beers taste. It is somewhat light in the mouth. However, I could probably drink a whole bunch of these. I think this is still the archetypal pilsner, though probably not the best. Many of the American pilsners that I've had taste nothing like this beer, much to their detriment.

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Photo of jamiejohnson
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I hold a soft spot in my heart for Pilsner Urquell because it was the beer that weaned me off the fizzy crap two decades back. I would buy ten cases at a time in my Urquell prime. Now I'll buy a twelver anytime the price is right. Urquell is what it is - the deservedly hyped icon of pilsner royalty. Michael Jackson used to comment on the brewery's soft water that left him "beckoning for another one." I have to agree - something is special about this legendary brew even if you can't pin it down. The high marks I give are out of respect. If you ever make it to Pilzen's brewery, don't miss the nearby beer museum. It's well worth it. Let's hope the conglomerate (SAB?) that now controls this classic doesn't totally destroy it in greedy fashion.

Young and dumb,
Drink'n fizz.
Now I'm smart,
A real beer whiz.

Thanks Urquell

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Photo of Watershed
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500mL can, by halves, into a small pilsener glass. Appearance-wise, in terms of light-ish lagers, this sets the colour standard: a rich lucid gold, with just enough carbonation to lend it a champagne-like effervescence around the edges. The smell is simple but full, bready with a tinge of herbal noble hops -- and the taste follows this pattern: wheat backed by that ashen tingle of Saaz. Though it would be easy to describe this beer as "dry" (the malts really do dissipate quickly), the hops leave a resiny aftertaste.

I've drunk this beer many, many times, and I keep coming back to it (especially in the summers, but all year round really) when I want a light and refreshing, yet flavourful sipper. And yes, I'm saying it's a sipper despite it weighing in at only 4.4% because: a) I always find myself drinking it more slowly than I'd expect, and never having more than one or two; and b) I find its subtleties continue to emerge the more I drink it. Maybe its status as the 'original pilsener' is a little overblown (though historically that's true), but at the same time I can readily see why it's heralded as a landmark of the brewing craft.

Overall, anyone with a real interest in beer should become familiar with this one.

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Photo of sudz42
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I originally drank this in the Czech Republic, served as a 22 oz. bottle in the morning on a breakfast tray with eggs, toast, jam, from the mother of the friends I was staying with. I hadn't drank it for about 15 years until recently (in Maine) and it's become my go-to, macro-replacement beer of choice at $14/12 pack. It's a bit bready, Salzy in the German style, and it's light; a good combination. It goes down very easy.

I have to give Urquell high marks, as for its features and price nothing comes close that is readily available.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am a little disappointed with a beer with this reputation being so common. Head is short lived with some lacing. Smell is heavy malt. The taste, has some interest, but cheaper beers have more.
It's ok, buy a case on sale for a summer party. (I believe, this beer lost much of it's appeal when it went mainstream.)

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Photo of kevd193213
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz draught at Mews Tavern in Wakefield, RI. Golden/yellow straw pour with a fizzy white head. Aroma of pepper and malt. Great balanced body with a taste of lemon and honey combined with a nice bitter peppery finish. Fantastic pils, went great with fries and a huge burger.

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Photo of Blupoet03
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a sparkling apple juice-like hay color in the glass with a very thin, diminishing head.

The aroma hits you as soon as you open the bottle - hops bitterness, grassyness, spice.

The taste is as snappy as the nose promises, a hint of floral, and finishes clean.

This beer drinks very well and is a wonderfully refreshing finish to a hot day even with the dry finish.

A very good everyday beer.

I admit that I picked this beer up due to its history - the original pilsner. I've heard that the recipe has been modernized, but since I don't know the difference, I can see why the style quickly spread around the world.

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Photo of Amdahl
2.89/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was severed to me from a green bottle. I found the taste to be a little skunky in the beginning but became less skunky as the beer warmed. The smell was much the same. I was able to drink a few of these beers. Not the beer I was expecting. I will not be buying this one again. Not a great pilsner, but a average one.

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Photo of dedalus
2.66/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

this beer looked great: lightly golden, with streams of carbonation rising from the foot of the glass and disappearing into the fluffy white head.

the aroma was all leafy hops, powerful but not astringent.

the flavor was a huge letdown for me. from what i had read of this beer, i was expecting a huge wave of bitterness followed by delicate, bready malt flavors. instead, i got a weak slap of leafy bitterness, followed by ... nothing. like drinking water that tastes like tired hops for the first second it's in your mouth. one of the most flavorless beers i've ever tasted. a real waste of four bucks.

thin mouthfeel, appropriate for the style, i suppose, but nothing that makes up for the utter lack of character.

barely drinkable. i hope and pray that i got an uncharacteristically bad bottle.



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Photo of strattor
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served to me a golden straw yellow, with a small white head that dissipated quickly.

Weak aroma of grassy hops.

Hops flavor is dominant. Slightly citrusy, bitter, and grassy. A little sweetness and biscuity flavors seep in from the malt. The finish is long and slightly bitter.

Very lively, crisp mouthfeel. Plenty of carbonation.

A little dry to drink a few in a row, but not bad. There are certianly better pilsners to be had, but this is a dependable and pretty easy to find one.

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Photo of utahbeerdude
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Visual: Medium-dark gold. Head doesn't last long. Some carbonation.
Aroma: Excellent, strong hop aroma that persists.
Flavor: Flavor is bitter with hop flavor that persists throughout, bitter finish, moderately long bitterness in aftertaste. Good malt support.
Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation for style.
Overall: Quite clean overall. Not as even overall as Staropramen, e.g., so actually a bit more interesting, perhaps.

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Photo of gestalt162
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap in the Czech Republic in a mug. The Plzen lager is supposedly the originator of the Pilsener style, to which much of the world's brewing tradition is linked. With this in mind, I sample this historic beer...

Appearance: A clear, light amber in color. Head is 2 fingers thick, lemon cream in color, with a creamy texture, slowly dissolves. Decent lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Pilsener malt and the trademark Saaz hops, which lend the beer a dry, bitter, grassy smell.

Taste: First impression is of a clean, smooth malt. Touch of sweetness from the malt is counteracted in the middle by the spicy,grassy, bitter hops. Dry and grassy finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick, and light, with a low carbonation. Would have liked a little fuller body with some more carbonation, but a good clean feel for a Pils.

Drinkability: A historic pilsener, and a decent one at that, with a low ABV. Just a little lacking in almost every category, an all-around decent beer. Although I'd prefer a Budweiser Budvar to this creation, i'd have another Urquell if given the opportunity

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Photo of G2Brew
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of eschbach
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a 6 pack of Pils Urq at the liquor store. It's the most available Czech Lager in the US I think. And it has it's loyal drinkers but it still isn't a common beer in the USA.

This beer looks good. It's a deep gold color with a thick frothy head. It smells very bitter. Like pure hops almost whit a faint malty aroma. And the taste is very crisp. It has a very bitter hops taste and it is very tasty. It has a good mouthfeel. It's creamy and not watery. It's drinkability is moderate. It's strong flavors make it a little difficult to just chug.

This is a fine beer. I really enjoy it's powerful hops aroma and taste. I'd say if you like a flavorful lager you should drink this beer. The only issue I have with it is that it has a low alcohol content. It's only 4.4% alcohol. I wish it was at least 5%.

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Photo of MrVisegrips
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of leechungsr
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: golden with decent white head with a steady amount of rising bubbles
s: light and grassy with a hint of hops
t: pretty decent light pilsner. Mild malts and hops; slight hop bias. Good, but it left me wanting just a little more bite; I prefer a little more bitterness or maybe a little spice would have made it more interesting.
m: excellent for a lighter beer. good amount of carbonation, crisp, clean.
d: mouthfeel really helps the drinkability. only if it had a little more bite; then this beer would go from good to great.

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Photo of USAF77
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Im a fan of German and Czech Pilsners so my review will be rather subjective. I found the aroma grainy, hoppy and pleasant.Not overly bitter at all. The kind of aroma that begs to be drank immediately. The color was "Pilsner" in all its beauty. To me it just "Looks" like Beer should look. A lovely pour with a nice head that begs to be tasted first.

To the palate its crisp, refreshing, and reminds me of why it was so easy to sit all day in a beer tent. With a quality Pilsner like this one you always feel like you can have one more beer. Its very well balanced, looks lovely golden, and refreshes while still retaining a nice Hoppy after taste so why stop after one or two? Its really a lovely beer to just look at as the light hits it in its glass.

Ive made it my "go to" Pilsner. Oh there will be other ones but Urquell is easy to find and never dissapoints.

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Photo of Jaysauras
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: Beautiful golden pour with a thick soapy head. Nice carbonation, and a very crisp and refreshing looking beer.

S: Not great. Rubbery, biscuit, skunk, some spice, and some grain. Nothing special here.

T: After the smell I was a little worried, but overall I was surprised. Good sweet malt up front with a bit of honey that settles into a mild spice, biscuit and subtle citrus. Hop and alcohol bite at the end is a bit overpowering and takes away from the overall feel. Not bad though at all.

F: Spicy, tingly, carbonated and prickly. Warm and dry. Has a very summer feel to it. Again, the bitter at the end is a bit much.

O: As my first foray into the world of Czech beer, this was not a bad pilsner at all to try. It is not outstanding, but it is a good solid beer. Pilsners are not going to wow you with any one aspect, but this one in particular was pretty crisp, refreshing, and altogether drinkable. Again, not outstanding, but pretty good. If you are in the mood for a solid Pilsner, I'd recommend it.

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Photo of sachsich
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I do agree with our friend Voodoo from Louisiana about having a Pils in the Rep., but I think the Czechs could do with a little improvement with the taste. The appearance is wonderful, but the taste is not the best, and claiming that they are the best, they need to prove it.

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Photo of jcance
1.37/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1

This is an abhorrent beer. I simply do not understand how anyone could think otherwise. The only way I could possibly describe this beer is if you took some san pedro cactus tea and mixed it with some beer. The aftertaste is morally wrong and I will never forgive this company for this horrifying experience I paid them to endure. There is nothing positive to say about this beer, other than that their logo looks nice. I would only ever drink this again if it were free, and even then I would be profoundly upset to do so, and I would only ingest it in the first place because I have no self respect. I'd even rather drink fucking Tecate than this swill.

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Photo of KaiMiller
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I was little, I thought this was great; then I thought it was mass-produced swill (when I tried it in a green bottle); now I think it's a landmark beer, but not necessarily great. It's also impossible to find a fresh can except by luck - they need a canned-on date - and boy does it not age well.

Very pretty. Light Saaz aroma, some almost-DMS-y pilsner malt aroma. Clean, well balanced bitterness, some toasty decoction flavour. Saaz. Nice balanced beer. Only slightly stale this time.

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Photo of birdyone
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden color, the color I always pictured when I though of beer. Given reasonable head from the bottle, but it doesn't last very long. Not sure if that's the beer not holding a haed or me drinking it quickly. . .

I agree with other reviews; it smells "bitter." Not bad at all, but defiantly distinct.

Good taste; crisp, refreshing

Plenty of flavor, but not overpowering; goes great with bar food

Great consistency, and availability

Personally, I love this beer; it's got plenty of flavor, but it's not so heavy you can't hang out with with good friends and drink a few. I've had it with bar food, and a home cooked steak, went well with both.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
82 out of 100 based on 1,376 ratings.