1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,614
Reviews: 1,256
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 16.57%
Wants: 37
Gots: 124 | 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)
View: Beers (13) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilsner Urquell Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,614 | Reviews: 1,256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

2.63/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an almost orange gold colour, with next to no head. Lots of carbonation can be seen rising from bottom to top. Smells a bit skunky, but it is a green bottle. Bit of grassy hops and sweet malt. Taste is alright. Mild bitterness, with an odd , subdued sour aftertaste. Finishes slightly dry. Drinkable as a session beer, I guess. But, their are much better choices.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 23:24:19 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of Rootdog316


3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pilsner Urquell pours to a clear rich, golden colour with only the meerest trace of amber. The head is white, thick, creamy and long lasting with excellent lacing. On the nose, there's a mild sulphurous aroma with a little toasted malt and some grassy tones. There's a woody, smoky quality to it as well, an almost hickory, barbecue-type aroma.

Medium bodied, it's immediately crisp, sharp and refreshing, with a good hop taste upfront. There's a spicy, lemon tea-like flavour with a slightly sweet malt, burnt toast taste in the background. The malt also imparts a buttery, caramel flavour before the beer finishes somewhat bitter and decidely dry.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2005 14:09:58 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of kennyo

New York

3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I always worry about drinking this beer, you gamble if you are going to get a good bottle or a skunked one. Purchased 12 pack, on sale, in the enclosed card board container, figured it might not be bad. Got lucky, no skunk.

Yelllow gold color, crystal clear with white head, nice carbonation. aroma was pilsner malt with a little cereal to it. Taste - its a pilsner, need I say more. OK there is more hop bitterness in it then other pilsners. very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 03:58:01 | More by kennyo
Photo of whynot44


4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light/medium bodied, clear golden color with a nice white head.

Aroma is sweet toasted malt, hay, and a bit of hops spice.

Taste is somewhat sweet and malty with a very nice crisp hops finish.

Very well balanced, smooth and very easy to drink. This was perfect with barbecue.

Definitely one of the best of the Pilsner or lager beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 08:17:39 | More by whynot44
Photo of ski271


2.45/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Was about to type in my review of this beer before the shred of paper with my scribblings completely disintegrated in my pocket, but the first line of the previous review caught my eye. Maybe I should just say “ditto” and be done with it. I was about to write about how I’ve tried this beer several times and from different bars, restaurants and six-pack stores and in different towns (in case the problem was the distributor), but it’s always quite skunked. It pours a clear, medium gold with a touch of amber and has a very small, white head that quickly diminishes to a very thin film. But the smell. Yikes! I was hit by the strong skunk as soon as I popped the cap on this bottle. I poured it and let it sat, knowing that sometimes the skunk will subside just enough that you can concentrate on the other qualities of the beer, but this one didn’t. All I got was skunk with a little bit of floral hops and light grain sticking out behind it. The taste was more of the same. It has a medium-light body, dry texture, and low carbonation. Drinkability? I’m rather stingy with my money and didn’t want to waste a beer that cost as much as it did, but I couldn’t do it, and half of it went down the sink. The burps of skunk for the next half hour made wish I hadn’t even had the 6 ounces I did. Some of the other bottles of this beer I've had have been slightly better, but never good. Total disappointment, and I doubt I’ll be giving this another chance, not at that price. But I agree with Hero27 that maybe I would give it another chance if it were on tap somewhere.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 21:44:46 | More by ski271
Photo of hero27


2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do they have fresh bottles of this stuff? Every time I try it, it's a bit skunked. I feel I've given it enough chances, so I'm holding the review against it. Maybe if they had brown bottles or I could try it on draft, it'd be a different story. Pours a clear golden-yellow color...head is modest but leaves decent lacing. Euro-skunk aroma...ugh. Taste is mostly grassy, herbal hops. Light, clean mouthfeel. Drinkable, but the "imported" class labels it a bit too pricey for what you get. Not an entirely bad pilsner, and I'm frankly not crazy about the style to begin with...but it just doesn't blow me away. I can't imagine it even being that great minus the skunk. It's simplicity and lack of body make it a below average offering in my book.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 05:47:49 | More by hero27
Photo of matchz


4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being of Czech heritage I almost have to love this beer, and I’m not ashamed to admit to that I do. It pours a clear golden color, with a heavy hoppy aroma laced with lemon/citrus hints. Slightly bitter with a lingering grapefruit aftertaste this brew is very refreshing on hot summer days and any other time in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 01:41:34 | More by matchz
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1842..it was a very good year apparantly.
This is a beer I've been enjoying for years and it rarely disappoints. I know a lot of people complain about skunkiness but I've had very few Pilsners that haven't been right there. I've had quite a few too, including the year I lived in Poland, only 30km from the Czech border. In fact, if you ever get the chance, visit the brewery and take a tour and they'll take you down to the basement and let you try the unfiltered goodness in the vats there..awesome.
The appearance is a medium gold color with a fine head that flattens quickly to almost nothing. The smell is fresh and grainy but otherwise unremarkable.
The taste is dry and bitter with a nice hop presence on the roof of the mouth that lasts long after the sip. Round is a good word to describe the taste as well. Mouthfeel is sharp although maybe the carbonation is okay with this one.
This is a classic and the inspiration for the direction of European beer for generations. Definitely okay in the bottle but even better on tap, especially on the continent..give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2005 20:57:56 | More by daliandragon
Photo of christmasg


4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had a very fresh Pilsner Urquell in Poland which was brewed at the Lech Brewery in Posnan under contract. I hear that Urquell has their own Czech Brewmaster on premisis to assure stict adherance to their specified process and proceedures.

Freshness and protection for sun light is critical for this style of beer. I have yet to get an example in the US that was anywhere close to this tastey.

Clean, crisp, assertivly hopped, spicey, peppery, huge creamy head. Some DMS, but very slight and not at all objectionable. Great hop aroma, (no skunk).

Serving type: can

11-08-2005 14:32:39 | More by christmasg
Photo of radshoesbro


3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a crystal golden wit ha mild head that is gone within minutes. leaves no lacing. smells like skunks, and mild yeast. not a very pleasent nose. tastes of mild yeast, very little hops, and quite watery. this is a light bodied beer that goes down real easy. it would be alright as a session brew just because of the smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 17:09:34 | More by radshoesbro
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a classic golden color with a bright white head that fades. No lacing to speak of.

Smells faintly of sweet malts and earthy hops. Smells nice, but nothing to get excited about.

Tastes very crisp! A hint of the malts and the earthy hops followed by a dry aftertaste.

Body is average for the style. Nothing exciting.

This is considered by some to be the standard for the style. I think it's decent, but have had better pilsners.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 22:04:43 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of UberWasser


3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz green bottle, no freshness date, served in a 24oz Pilsner glass.

Poured a light amber with a two finger head that lingered for a few moments. Continued to bubble through the entire drinking experience, leaving a thin lace on top.

The smell was fairly one dimensional; mainly mild citrus. No skunk seemed to be present.

Flavors are more deep than the smell, and continued to develop as the brew warmed towards room temp. Citrus tart at first, that mellowed out and the malts came through pleasantly. The hops linger at the back of the mouth for a while after drinking. Overall enjoyable. Mouthfeel was smooth and light.

A nice beer to go with a game of football, or a grilled sausage and fries, or to refresh oneself if served on the cold side, or all three. Definitely the sort you could drink all day.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2005 23:07:08 | More by UberWasser
Photo of cubedbee


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass, this is an absolutely clear golden straw color with big fomay white head with decent retention and tons of carbonation bubbles. Nose is pretty faint, some grassy hops, a little malt, nothing else. Taste is a sharp spicey hop over a light grainy malt--very melded together, not much going on, but satisfying. As the beer warmed some slight lemony flavors crept in. Bodies on the thin side, but it has a nice carbonation and a great crisp finish. Overall this is a solid pils, nothing to write home about, but definitely a good offering that you can find at a decent number of bars.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2005 22:09:59 | More by cubedbee
Photo of Daredevil


4.68/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Urquell means the original source and in fact this is like the source code for all lager style beers, remaining the benchmark for 160 years, since the first batch has been brewed ... copied throughout the world as "Pils" but in my humble view unmatched yet for it's golden colour and the balance of flowery aromas, extra dry bitterness and salty softness ...

Lost a bit of uncompromising bitterness in the last decade but still remains one of the world's great beers (M. Jackson) ... and the best product in the SAB Miller range ....

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 21:31:02 | More by Daredevil
Photo of jarmby1711


3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a good 8 mths over the best before date.
1 I have to start checking dates
2.Be reluctant to go back to that store.
This was a bit of a disappointment.The smell was sour and not inviting at all.
The flavour was middle of the road but thee was some flowerey notes at the finish.
If this bottle is true to form , not a beer I would get excited about as it doesnt stand out from the pack.But I will try one in date and see how it compares.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 07:27:21 | More by jarmby1711
Photo of BeerBeing


3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz green glass longneck generic bottle, red/green/gold on white label, silver foiled neck

Appearance: clear golden color, large white head, minor lacing

Smell: malt and hops

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, some sweet malt, hoppy bitterness, citrus

Notes: not my favorite style, but not bad

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2005 23:44:44 | More by BeerBeing
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Having had a many pints of this classic beer on draught in Prague, I was eager to find it here in London, only to find myself disappointed a little bit by the tap-version. This time I'll see if the bottled-version does any good...

A: served in a pint glass, it pours a dark golden hue, with a foamy head to dissipate slowly; nice carbonated body, not over the top but quite normal as well.
S: the beer's special scent mixed of sour maltiness mixed with lemony and grassy hops is there, but somehow lacks the slightly sharp edge as appeared on-tap--biscuity malts, and softly fruity (mildly apple-ish & sugar-cane-ish) hops on top of more grassy and sour hoppyness, sustain well, with a touch of butter. But overall, the aroma is more timid and restrained compared to the draught version.
T&M: bitter taste of aromatic and grassy hops on top of biscuity malts prevail, but neither appears as pronouced and the palate also lacks the bready texture expected. The flavour upfront is depleted of draught version's slightly astringent and lovely-conflicting and crisp mouthfeel of lemony citrus... leaving some moderate bitterness with leafy hoppyness in the finish. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, yet a bit flat if the softly-carbonated body is not taken into account.
D: overall the body is thin-medium and the flavour fails big time as compared to the tap version consumed here in London, which in turn is far inferior to the real stuff on draught (unfiltered? at least so it looked like) at a good Urquell's pub in Plzen or Prague (e.g. U Pinkasu). Maybe the filtering process for bottling has robbed the beer of some distinctive elements which makes it such a refreshingly and tasty Pils widely loved in Bohemia. But so do a lot of people lament the quality of this classic brew as compared to the days before SAB Miller took over the business. Well, such is life I suppose, that one has to compromise so many good things in life with uncontrollable forces.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 20:50:03 | More by wl0307
Photo of Troyone


3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a gold color with slight amber hue, minimal white head, and some carb action.

Has a bright, slightly banana, caramel malt smell with a pine/citrus hops aroma.

Has a lightly sweet/acidic, moderately bitter, burnt straw malt taste with a strong grapefruit hops flavor.

Light to medium bodied, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft carbonation, and a heavy metallic and moderately astringent finish.

Too much bitter and burnt flavor, the grapefruit flavor is too much, and the heavy metallic and astringent finish lingers the grapefruit and burnt flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 00:58:43 | More by Troyone
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pilsner Glass...nice medium bodied head, clarity and carbonation are impressive to look at. Sweet grainy and hoppy aroma that isn't the least off-putting.

Taste is good and bready, but a little bit skunky for my taste. Definitely feels like a summer beer for me. Also, let me point out that I haven't had a lot of experience with Pilsners, so I thought I'd start with something from the origin of the style. A bit more bitter than I thought it would be, but that's not a problem, just an observation. The hoppiness I think is a bit obscured by the skunky bitterness. Softer mouthfeel, lighter, but has a nice initial tongue bite.

Still though, I don't know if this is something I'd like on a regular basis of not. Maybe someday I can try it on tap and tell you what I think...

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2005 00:24:00 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml green bottle poured in a pint glass.

Pure gold colour and clear. Big white head foams up to 1.5 inches at the pour then recedes to a patchy layer across the top.

Slightly sweet, definitely hoppy and somewhat grainy aroma.

Nice balance of grain and hops at the start. Hops are accented by the carbonation in the middle. Nice crisp finish slides into a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and fizzy. Crisp and clean.

True to it's claim to fame as the grandaddy of pilseners, this is a fairly universal example of the style. However, there has always been something about Urquell that just doesn't excite me. One element that turns me off is how sometimes the hops exhibit the "skunk hops" qualities and sometimes they don't. When the skunk hops are in then I'm not very interested in this beer, but when they aren't as evident, then this is a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2005 01:48:56 | More by Noxious26
Photo of ryantupy


3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very nice golden clear color with a white lace that tends to stick to the glass. It smelled of hops, grain, and bitterness. It tasted smooth and crisp with not to much carbonation. It had hints of grain and hoppy bitterness. It was a good tasting refreshing beer that i enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2005 05:48:43 | More by ryantupy
Photo of paterlodie


3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB18-02-06. Poors in without a huge head but nice deep golden beercolor. Nose is very hopflowery of the used Saaz hops and has good maltyness. Litle oxidation already noticable. As is diacethyl but that is so low that it just flavours the beer extra giving it a litle creamy smell. Taste is also quiet good being full malty, litle sweet, very flowery hops and good bitterness in aftertaste, however it's hanging a bit. Good beer that's easy drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 13:31:03 | More by paterlodie
Photo of HardTarget


3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Green glass, raised inscription, foil neck, indecipherable date code and no useful information at all.

Aroma: Wow, toasted bread. So much so I can’t believe I’m not burning bread in the background. A touch of a “Heineken” malty slightly skunky smell as well. All in all, rather appealing.

Appearance: Bright clear gold with a small inverted snow storm of tiny carbonation bubbles passed by rushed slightly larger bubbles. White head dropped to a modest cover that would leave a slight trail during sips, but no real lace.

Flavor: Slight mineral water flavor, firm hop spice (Saaz, no?) and a very subdued malt base. Slight citric notes and extremely clean: no off flavors at all.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, exceedingly dry bordering on astringent.

Overall Impression: Crisp, unique, refreshing. Can’t call this one out of style, it IS the style. Looks great, smells good, tastes good, feels a touch astringent. As a package, have to give it a thumbs up!

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 01:21:38 | More by HardTarget
Photo of jettjon


3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2005 00:08:04 | More by jettjon
Photo of palliko


2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A light golden appearance, arctic-white foam and long lasting lace. Aroma is of grass, toasted grain and hops. There may be a hint of malt, but not much. Initial taste is grass, grain, some skunky hops and malt are present but only moderate. Too much carbonation. Not much flavor, but leaves a less than great taste in the mouth. There are better pilsners out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 05:24:11 | More by palliko
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.