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Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

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2,680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,680
Reviews: 1,258
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 16.57%
Wants: 39
Gots: 152 | 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: 2,680 | Reviews: 1,258 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Damian


2.95/5  rDev -17.1%

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle at Sibling Rivalry, Boston, MA

Poured a light amber with a fizzy, bright white, one-finger head that quickly disappeared. No residual film or lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was mild initially. As the beer warmed, sweet, biscuity malts came through along with a touch of grain and some noticeable skunkiness.

The taste was quite bland and bitter from start to finish. Subtle toasted malts and a bit of creaminess appeared up front before the bitterness took over. I am assuming that the bitterness came from the hops, however there was no discernible hop flavor present. The bitterness crescendoed into the bone dry, long-lasting finish.

Mouthfeel was very grainy and heavily effervescent, yet light and fluffy on the palate.

Overall, I found this beer to be severely lacking in both malt and hop flavors. Furthermore, its overwhelming bitterness was at times difficult to handle.

04-21-2007 14:05:13 | More by Damian
Photo of kdoc8


3.68/5  rDev +3.4%

I had this on tap at the Bier Stein in Eugene, OR. It was actually a presentation night on Czech Pilsners, and Pilsner Urquell was featured because it is the highest rated pilsner by the BTI right now, with a rating of 93. I was excited to try it and surprised it was rated much lower than I thought it would be on BA.

A few fun facts from Czech Pilsner night:
- Pilsner Urquell is currently rated the best lager in the world by BTI
- beer consumption in the CR is highest in the world
- Ireland is not even close
- In 1842 the first yeast strain used to make Pilsner Urquell was isolated and they've been cloning from that original strain ever since
- Pilsner Urquell was the first light beer
- water quality in the town of Plzen where the brewery is located is key to the Pilsner Urquell recipe because of its softness
- Patton liberated Plzen before Prague in WWII; the men who liberated Plzen came back for a reunion at the brewery and it was the biggest party the place ever had
- The Plzen brewery is now owned by the South African Brewery (SAB) which is the second largest beer-maker in the world
- Urquell means "original source" in Czech

Some health facts:
- the demographic that drinks 1-2 beers a day is healthier than both the non-drinkers and alcoholics
- beer has folic acid and B vitamins
- beer makes breasts grow

Ok - so after all the hype, I'm ready to try the beer. It's served with very little head and in a pint glass. The color is golden/red and it has some effervesence. I don't detect much of a smell at all. There's a little lacing on the glass. Now for the taste - yeasty and not really complex. It's got more flavor than some more common pilsners, but I'm not that excited about it. Maybe some weak fruits are roaming around there, but it's mostly the taste of yeast. Very refreshing though.

04-17-2007 18:50:14 | More by kdoc8
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +9%

Dark golden color with nice rocky foam that settles quickly.
Smells great and spicy, little grassy and slight maltiness.

Flavor is brilliantly balanced. Soft malt flavor thats just barely shoved away by the spicy hop finish.

Nice and easy on the tongue and, of course, I could drink this pilsner all day long. Good Pilz thats available everywhere (because its distributed by Miller).

04-16-2007 23:49:53 | More by BeerZack
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Not a huge fan of Pilseners, but I'd heard to much about this one that I figured I'd give it a shot. Pours a light yellow/golden, nice head, pretty nice looking. Nose is solid, surprisinginly strong, hops and sweet malt come through. Taste is smooth, nice balance of hops and malt (especially for a pilsener), some spices as well. Feel is medium bodied, good carbonation. Overall, a every tasty and extremely refreshing beer. If I were feeling like a lager (which occasionally I am), I'd definitely come back to this one.

04-15-2007 17:05:06 | More by soupyman10
Photo of kgotcher


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Have drunk this in a bottle for years. Found it in a tall boy can so had to give it a go.

Pours a very nicely carbonated and crystal clear golden color with a typical pilsner head.

Aroma has that distinctive saaz hop bite and a bready malt smell. Mouthfeel is smooth with refreshing carbonation. Slightly dry finish. Taste is clean and matly with a light hop bitterness on the end. I did not notice particulary any different from bottled or canned version of this beer, although it depends on the bottle. If you get the 12 pack in the box you have a good chance of avoiding a skunked beer, 6 packs or big bottles are more risky due to the green glass exposing the beer to light. Once in a while I get a skunky one.

The cans are pretty good.

04-10-2007 00:32:37 | More by kgotcher
Photo of kajerm


3.65/5  rDev +2.5%

Bottle at the Mundelein beer tasting. Pours clear and golden with a two finger head of fine bubbles.

The aroma is dominated by herbal Saaz hops; this is a real Pilsener. The flavor is very light, with a little bit of malt flavor and hop bitterness on the finish. This is one of my first Czech pilseners, and probably the hoppiest lager I've encountered.

The mouthfeel is light and briskly carbonated; hugely drinkable.

I'm not a big fan of the style, but this is the quintessential example and I don't imagine you could do much better than this. I'd be interested to try it on tap, since those green glass bottles might be making for a lot of lightstruck beer.

04-09-2007 02:14:24 | More by kajerm
Photo of janubio


5/5  rDev +40.4%

This is THE pilsner beer. No other, or almost no other beer should be called that. Great deep golden colour, with orange reflection when you put it to the light. Nice head with lot of bubbles, though it fades quickly, but leaving a great lace. Hoppy aroma of herbs, and hay, with a delicate spicy touch and even some fruity hints. In mouth is round, perfectly clean, bitter, probably the most bitter pilsner I've ever had, but with a delicate and silky flavor and smoked notes. Malt is more noticed than in the smell. Dry finish, very refreshing and appetizer. Perfect.

04-07-2007 14:29:27 | More by janubio
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.08/5  rDev +14.6%

I saw the Pilsner Urquell truck outside the supermarket and caught the delivery guy in the beer aisle. I asked him for a fresh 12 pack and he said, "they're all fresh" and I told him I had this a few times where the beer had gone 'skunky' and I've had it fresh, big difference, bro!
The guy took a 12 pack from the rear of shelf and told me he just brought this one in off his truck.

beer is a gold/yellow, thin white head, lots of bubble.

smell a fresh one, hoppy aroma, no skunk.

taste a fresh one, light, crisp, sweet malt, then the bitter hop leading to a clean/dry finish.

very balanced, a palate pleaser.

very good drinkable beer if and when you can be sure it's fresh.

04-03-2007 04:22:59 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of jar2574


4.03/5  rDev +13.2%

I was lucky enough to try this beer at the brewery in Plzen while I was living in the Czech Republic. The Czechs hold this beer in high regard. I tasted it from the traditional wooden casks that they still keep for samples. That was the best beer I've ever had. Having moved back here to the states, I like to revisit my old friend every so often.

Very little head. Dark golden color.

A lovely light, earthy, bready smell. To me, this is what a beer should smell like. But maybe I'm biased from my memory of the brewery.

The taste is more bitter than other beers, but I like it. It awakens your tongue.

This is a refreshing beer with just the right amount of carbonation. You can drink these for quite a while, although the bitterness will get to you around number four or five. It goes great with traditional meat and potatoes style dishes.

Out of the tap this is one of my favorite beers, even if you aren't at the brewery. I think you can do better when buying bottles though.

03-27-2007 23:37:53 | More by jar2574
Photo of schusterbauer


4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

i seem to remember not being so impressed by this out of the bottle. I'll have to try it again.

the beer blurs the line between dark golden and light brown hues, and smells of grassy hops and a ton of toasted malts. in the mouth, there's a heavy emphasis on toasted caramel and nutty malts, a nice contrast to the standard german counterpart. these dark toasted flavors are supported by grassy hops that give the flavors of lawn clippings and lemon peels. smooth in the mouth, and crisply carbonated. finishes surprisingly quickly for the amount of flavor. i could drink this all day.

03-26-2007 13:21:12 | More by schusterbauer
Photo of MmmIPA


3.33/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

03-26-2007 00:19:30 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of friendofthedevil


4/5  rDev +12.4%

On tap, it's hard to beat. But on tap, it's not particularly worth it considering that most Czech Pilseners are good and this is quite a bit pricier than it's smaller bretheren. Definitely worth a try, especially if you've not had the joy of the Czech Pilsener, but the sampling would be ideally made in the Czech Republic itself where the beer is fresh, the people are friendly, and life is good. What you've heard and surely more, but try some other brands if you're in country to support smaller brewers. Have fun!

03-25-2007 15:50:56 | More by friendofthedevil
Photo of vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +13.8%

Putting aside the usual curmudgeonly grumbling directed at old standards like Pils Urquell ("dumbed down by XYZ brewery conglomerate," "shadow of its former self," "don't make it like they used to"), I submit this remains a classic, highly drinkable beer.

The six-pack I bought wasn't light-struck, as can be the problem, and a nice aroma reminiscent of baking bread wafted up from my glass — no skunk here. Spicy noble hops were a nice counterbalance and the beer sat in my glass an appetizing gold with a thin foamy white head.

The taste was a great balance between bitter hops and a sweet malty flavour that was almost honey-like. Dry, crisp finish, but the carbonation seemed a bit flat and could have been better. Still, a great beer and a highly drinkable one for all occasions.

03-25-2007 00:06:48 | More by vanrassel
Photo of fightingirishcmk

New York

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%

Bought a 6 pack after trying it for the first time and liking it on St. Patty's day. I wasn't able to find a sealed 12 pack, so I'm not sure how much light has affected the green bottle.

Golden/Honey colored with a quickly dissipating head.

Aroma is sweet/malty and slightly hoppy, although not too strong.

Taste is quite sweet with some bitterness, very crisp and refreshing. First taste to last taste, it seems to have changed somewhat for the better. More flavorful than most common name pilsners.

Mouthfeel is very good, with just the right amount of carbonation to give this a smooth, crisp, refreshing feeling. Not too heavy, but not too thin either.

Definitely rather high on my drinkability list. I'm not familiar with the old style, but I think I will continue to buy this beer occasionally.

03-24-2007 19:37:30 | More by fightingirishcmk
Photo of beerphan


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%

12oz bottle -> pilsner
code on the back label

Pours a clear golden yellow with a bright white thin head. Some thin delicate lace. Carbonation is persistantly different, different sized bubbles at different speeds, cool.

Skunky, earthy, floral hops.

Light maltiness up front. Finishes with a refreshing spiced bitterness. Better drink this one quick before it has a chance to really warm. I would keep mine in the fridge if i ever bought a sixer.

Smooth and light in the mouth with a crisp finish.

Easy to swig these babies all day long.

03-23-2007 20:46:55 | More by beerphan
Photo of mmmbeer


4.4/5  rDev +23.6%

Finally got around to trying the original pilsner. 12 oz., (non-lightstruck) green bottle with some code on the back. It pours into my pils glass a crystal-clear, pale gold with a light bead leading up to an inch of white head, which leaves decent lacing. Skunky/spicy and green/earthy Saaz in the nose, with hints of grassiness and some toasted malts. It's fairly bitter on the palate with spicy, earthy, and piney hops balanced by a light dose of toasted malts. The mouthfeel is perfect - light to medium, quite drying, with creamy carbonation and medium finish - and it is immensely drinkable. After finishing this six-pack, I immediately went out and bought at 12 pack, which also went quite quickly. Delicious and well-worth a try.

03-19-2007 22:47:03 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of CH3CH2OH

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a deep, clear gold with a fast fading head. Has a clean aroma (hard to describe unless you have ever been in a lagering room at a brewery) with faint saaz aroma and some malt. Taste is highly regimented - refreshing malt sweetness up front, a tingle of carbonation and acidity in the middle, with a palate cleansing dryness at the end. An almost perfect session beer, because the palate is reset with each drink, ready for the next taste.

P.S. - only buy this in an enclosed twelve pack, or some other way where the beer has not been exposed to direct light. I have purchased two twelve packs in the past that have been skunked. Freshness is critical for this beer, and the green bottle is a huge mistake on the part of the maker.

03-11-2007 17:25:45 | More by CH3CH2OH
Photo of shadow1961


3.1/5  rDev -12.9%

I'm always a little nervous opening imported beers
that come in clear or green glass- but I couldn't
resist the bomber of Pilsner Urquell I saw at Esser's.

Pilsner Urquell pours out a fluffy white head over a pale
yellow brew. Carbonation is really active, and the nose
is of malt and yeast. Lucky me, it's not gone skunky! There's
a definite malt flavor up front with sort of a dry, almost citrus
finish. There's a definite grassy hop aftertaste. This is a good
beer- it does define the type after all. The big question is
whether you go for authenticity, or, in my opinion, a better
domestic example of the type (like Rogue's Uber Pilsner) is up
to you. In my area bombers of both types are readily available
and comparable in price. Hmmm... the temptation is not to
choose at all- you could always get both and have yourself a
Pilsner shootout...

02-27-2007 08:30:11 | More by shadow1961
Photo of Bookseeb


4.05/5  rDev +13.8%

Light straw in color with a quickly disapating head. The skunk at first smell, but mellowed out to sweet malt and saaz. A crisp taste, malty sweetness, spice with bitterness. light clean mouthfeel, a definate drinker if I were feeling light on occasion.

02-24-2007 03:27:14 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of MiScusi


4.1/5  rDev +15.2%

Thought this was a very good Pilsner compared to others I've had. The saaz hop character was a bit more mild, and a combination of sweeter malt and less harsh carbination made this much more pleasant to drink. The combination of less bitter taste and smooth mouthfeel was excellent, making this easy to drink.

02-23-2007 06:58:39 | More by MiScusi
Photo of milljs


4.2/5  rDev +18%

I have had this beer on many occasions, both on tap and bottled. This occasion was from a bottle with some wonderful sushi to accomany.
The beer is a nice dark yellow color with a smooth white head. This beer has a distinct smell, different than most green bottle imports. It has a clear hoppy smell, actually a little floral. The taste has an very enjoyable bitterness. This is much different from typical american pilsners, as this is the "original pilsner". The beer feels good in your mouth, and finishes nicely.

Overall, this is a very, very good pilsner! It worked nicely with the sushi and wasabi!

02-21-2007 18:42:37 | More by milljs
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%

Pale golden yellow, clear. Mild-moderate head with picture-perfect carbonation.

Biscuit malt, lightly sweet with deeper roasted caramel notes. Mild floral and fruity hop.

Light bodied malt: grassy biscuit with mild nut, caramel, fruit, and a hint of roast. Splash of fruity/floral hop character provides refreshing balance and significant bitterness. Decent carbonation throughout. Finishes with a nice bitter toffee coating.

02-21-2007 05:41:56 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of eberkman


3.4/5  rDev -4.5%

A waitress's pour produced less of a head than I would have hoped for from the classic pilsener (I'm not enough of an ass to demand to pour my beer myself in a nice restaurant). About a finger or two. The beer itself was a clear golden hue.

The smell was skunky at first, but that went away after a couple of minutes. Other aromas were a smooth maltiness.

It tasted mostly malty with some crisp hoppiness at the finish. Not bad, not tremendous either.

The mouthfeel was crisp and light. This would be very sessionable, particularly at a barbeque on a hot day given its lightness.

Overall, not a bad beer but not one that I'm going to search out. But I'll happily order it in a restaurant where the only other options are BMC and Guinness or Stella.

02-20-2007 23:37:01 | More by eberkman
Photo of brjr508


4.22/5  rDev +18.5%

Appearance: Poured into a pilsner glass, this beer has a dark gold color. Head retention was not great, but the lacing stays throughout the course of consumption.

Smell: Nice blend of hops and malts.

Taste: The hops produce a good deal of bitterness that is nicely balanced by some caramel malts. Very simple, and very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, though it is fairly light on the tongue.

Drinkability: High, especially considering this beer's simplicity and lightness.

02-19-2007 03:53:00 | More by brjr508
Photo of MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -5.1%

Saw that they have a new styled can for this so I figured I'd buy a single at the NSLC. Hadn't had it in a while, but this is my first review.

Appearance: Pours a flawless golden colour wiht a moderate white head. The head diminishes very fast into basically nothing.

Aroma: Clean, sweet malts, lots of florals and some citrus.

Taste: Biscuit malt, sweet, moderate bitterness with a slight alcohol flavour. Very standard

Mouthfeel: Nice body, smooth, easy drinking.

Final Statement: Very much like standard Euro lagers, yet the best of the bunch. If you're into Heiniken or Stella on warm summer nights, then try out Pilsner Urquell. I'll continue to you buy this every so often for that particular event.

02-18-2007 04:56:30 | More by MMansfield
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 2,680 ratings.