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Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

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3,076 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,076
Reviews: 1,328
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 339 | 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.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,076 | Reviews: 1,328
Photo of largecar73
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Pilsner glass. Was in the mood for a pils, thought I'd give this a try. I was a little intrigued by the "original pilsner".

A: Nice golden color with some carbonation bubbles dancing about. Very small bone white head that was gone in a flash, not a bit of lacing to be seen.

S: The smell of grain is the first thing I notice with a faint whisp of grass coming through also.

T: This beer has a decent flavor. The first thing I notice is a slight hop sting then the taste of cereal comes to mind. Nice crisp finish with a little bit of citrus aftertaste.

M: Thin carbonated mouthfeel that seems about right for the style.

D: With a nice refreshing taste, and only 4.4 ABV this is highly sessionable in my opinion. It would be a good beer to drink on nice summer evening.

Photo of Brenden
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this with a friend who's really into pilsners lately.

The color is sort of a clear golden copper. A one-finger head dissipates pretty quickly and there isn't much lacing to speak of.

The smell is a combination of floral and citrus hops with husky grains. A little bit of malt almost evens it out.

The taste is pretty crisp. Strong hops make the first impression then grainy notes and floral citrus. A malty flavor is more of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty good; crisp and smooth and not thick but not so thin as to seem watery. Carbonation is lively but not overbearing. Mouthfeel is probably the best aspect of this beer.

All in all quite drinkable.

Photo of Cs1987
4.14/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Gold, 1 finger of head which reduced.

Smell - Very strong hops and fruit, but does get skunked easily.

Taste - Almost a perfect pilsener taste. Very strong and hoppy, but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation level.

Drinkability - A little challenging.

Overall - Few beers deserve to be called a "classic" more than this. The pilsener by which all other pilseners are judged, and deservedly so.

Photo of prosper
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hm. Good beer. Actually kinda surprised...

Pours a medium gold. A few shades darker than a lot of euro pilsners. Tall cap, big bubbles. Decent retention. No streamers.

Smells with a slight whiff of vegetal pils maltiness, with some spicy hops. Nothing special so far. Perhaps a slight hint of DMS, and a quick whiff of skunky sulfur (or maybe that's just character from the yeast).

Taste, though, that is special. Some of the usual vegetal kick present in most macro lagers, but it's quite restrained and balanced with a good IBU blast so the end result is more grainy than grassy. Restrained hop flavour, despite the IBU's. Soft on the palate, bitter but with malt character, and a clean, hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel starts rather moderate, but finishes feeling thin and spritzy. Good carbonation - not too much, not to little.

Drinkeable. I could have a few of these; something I can't really say about most run-of-the-mill euro pilsners that just don't have enough character to keep my interest. Yet no so much that you get tired of it.

Photo of madvoice
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden yellow colour with a very small head that disappeared pretty quickly with minimal lacing. Smells clean and fresh. It has quite a sweet malty flavour with a little hop. Goes down very easily. Very refreshing crisp beer that would be a great summertime beer.

Photo of webbcreative
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Feb 22, 2009
Golden Yellow Pour. No head at all. Lots of flavor in this one for a lighter brew. Refreshing, and clean tasting. smelled like a skunked beer, but i think thats just the style, i think it is the saaz hops but im not sure. thin to med mouthfeel. Overall just an okay brew for me, not a fan of the style.

Photo of AES
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is not what it once was, but it must be judged based on merit as opposed to history.

A: Strikingly clear and golden, bright white head with some minimal lacing.

S: Slightly sweet, floral hops. Rather underwhelming, but by no means bad.

T: Initially sweet malt, followed immediately by the floral hops. Almost a little twang of tartness in the cheeks and back of the mouth. Finish on the dry side with lingering hops bitterness.

M: Excellent for the style. Not overdone by any means, but plenty to grab hold of. Minimal and pleasant sugars linger long after the final sip.

D: I could drink these all day. One of my favorite session beers and a great beer for bringing macro drinkers into the light, so to speak. Approachable and easy, with enough flavor to keep it interesting.

Photo of Johnwesleyhardin
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Ralphus
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pilsner Urquell, despite the longings of many to compare it to the original, is still a very good beer in bottled form. And given that it's a mega brew (being a SABMiller brand) it's quite an accomplishment. There is plenty of taste and a decent balance to boot.

In the pour we find a strikingly clear golden colored lager. Not much head and almost no lacing either - but the color is pleasing nonetheless. The smell, while on the weak side plus being being somewhat floral and slightly sweet, might lead you to believe this is going nowhere fast. But in the taste we find depth - especially for a megabrew. Lots of sweetness up front, immediately balanced out by the carbonation and very floral hoppiness. What follows is a nice smooth body and mouthfeel which is done just right.

It makes drinking this one easy and your first glass will be gone before you know it. Pour a second and let it warm a little so you can enjoy it again.

Photo of biegaman
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of MitchW
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Medium/light honey-gold color. Near crystal clear. Thin whisp of head with faint lacing and moderate carbonation.

S - Crisp and faintly sweet, hop aroma, complimented by the carbonation.

T - Crisp with just a hint of hop dominance. Very much representative of the style. Well balanced with similar taste as smell.

M - Light and smooth without approaching watery. Neither under nor over carbonated.

D - Very easy to drink. Not overpowering, but doesn't get dull either.

Photo of sabalon
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the beer poured yellow in color with a nice white head, leaving a lace on the glass as it disappaited.
i could smell malt and clear hops. a light carmel flavor upfront with hops on the finish. it was nicely carbonated with a good bite on the finish.
I would choose for a nice summer quencher, very refreshing.

Photo of ProfessorHops
3.39/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of aletales
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pilsner Urquel poured clear and gold with little head. It's aroma is of malt and floral hops. It had a great presence on the palate with nice contest between the malts and hops with the hops winning out in the end. Refreshing and it is a very drinkable beer.

Photo of LyonsHead
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: this beer looks clean and refreshing, pale color leads you think its a thirst quenching beer

S: not impressed with the smell at all. Don't know if its the Saaz but i detect an off skunky smell. don't really like that smell

T: Thankfully, it doesn't taste like it smells. It is a quenching beer, distinct hoppiness.

M: finishes with a hint of the skunky flavor. Maybe skunky is the wrong word, Im not entirely sure this beer is for me though. Try it youself to find out

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Veselka, a Ukranian diner in NYC's East Village. Poured into a 20 oz. standard pint glass.

A--A little brownish yellow with lots of lively bubbles. Not as shining or bright as I expected, with a miniscule white fizzy head that was nonexistent withing second. Expected more white soapy foam.

S--Some lemon, followed by old hay and an almost sour vinegarish smell.

T--Clean with enough bitter Saaz hops to make it interesting. Great clear pale malt profile that doesn't interfere in the least with the texture and mouthfeel of the beer, nor the freshening hops in the back of the profile, which again, bring out some sour lemon and tight bittering, along with some unfortunate metallic off-notes toward the very end.

M&D--Decent, certainly fizzy enough for the style. Drinkability is great except for that bit of sourness that makes a reach for another a little more hesitant.

Photo of HalfFull
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours a clear golden yellow in color. A thin white head appears but doesn't stick around for the show. Offers some minimal lacing.

Nose offers some light hops and a fair dose of sweet malts penetrating through the lager stillness. This continues to the tongue with the moderate sweetness of the malts dominating, at least until the finish when a bit of dry smoke presents itself. Sweet and dry at the same time from front to back, though more on the sweet side of the equation.

Has a perky carbonation that isn't enough to kick up much of a head but does help the medicine go down, as the finish is a bit gooey sweet like cough medicine. Drink is also limited for the same reason.

Smoke flavors surprised me as did the sweetness, though the freshness of the beer was in question and it did follow a lighter Peroni.

Photo of FCGrabo
2.31/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I slowly poured the beer into the pilsner glass and watched as the head came up to a nice 1-inch firmness. The color of the beer surprised me with its rich golden yellow color. Micro-bubbles percolated from below. There was hardly any aroma to be had but I couldn't wait to dive into this rich looking pool of beer. Curious. The carbonation bubbles dwindled off to a few trickles like street traffic at 3 a.m.

The first sip attacked my taste buds with meaning. Full flavor, a nice middle and a crisp ending similar to the crack of a bullwhip. This is definitely a European beer. The flavor is what I'd imagine Old World beer would taste like. The taste is a bit sharper than what I remember Bitburger to be, but this is good drinking nonetheless. The hoppiness of this brew is obviously its trademark. It's not too much to put you off, but it does make its presence clear right from the beginning.

By the second bottle, the tastes settled down and played nice. A bit of sweetness stepped forward. The hoppiness went from a whipcrack to rough butt pinch. My mouth wanted another sip strictly due to the flavor. The hops demanded that I reply, "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"

The taste of this beer is most probably at extreme end of the hoppiness scale that my taste buds could tolerate. Hoppier than a lager, but much less so than an IPA. Not one sip caused me to wrinkle my brow with distaste, but each sip did take whack at my uvula on the way down. In my opinion, this would be a good beer right after a meal of meat. A thick juicy steak and some P.U. would probably hit it off pretty well together.

If you're shopping for a good tasting beer, pass this one by. Some guys are hopheads who love the punishment of these hoppy beers. Others, like me, want some good taste without paying another price for the same beer.

Photo of mcsquint
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into pint glass.
A - Golden in color with 1 finger white head. Nice lacing on glass.
S - malt, carmel, and grassy hops.
T - Nice light carmel malt flavor upfront with Saaz hops on the finish
M - Light to medium. Nicely carbonated with a crisp hops bite on the finish.
D - I would choose this over a wheat or hefe on a warm summer day. Very refreshing.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

clear gold with a nice pure white head. grassy hops in the nose with some biscuity malts. hint of sweet cracker-like malts upfront with a moderate smooth continental hop bitterness cleaning it out. finish is clean and short. mouthfeel is light and spritzy. could have a few of these when it's warm out.

Photo of 1099
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this at the HEB Broadway Central Market in San Antonio. Heard it was good so i figured I'd give it a shot...I'm glad I did.

A: Nice golden color, very clear. It had about a one finger head on it that actually stayed while I was drinking it. About what I expected from what I've seen/heard.

S: Smells very good...can smell a great malty scent that is much better than the macro smell I'm accustomed to.

T: The taste is good....nice malt right up front, with a little bit of biscuit in the middle, and finishes quite clean with a burst of bitterness. It's quite a bit more bitter than my usual fare but I like the way it balances.

M: Average, a tiny bit fuller feeling than other of the same style. I like the ample carbonation as well-not too heavy, not too light.

D: I love beers of this style, so I could drink a lot of these if I had the cash to buy it more often.

I'm glad I spent the money to get this one...from now on every time I'm in town around the market I'll pick some up...it was worth the money!

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a gift pack from World Market, otherwise I wouldn't even have tried this one.

It poured a nice light gold color with copious white head yet a small amount of carbonation. There was little aroma to speak of. The taste was of a decent level of malt. It was fairly smooth and light bitterness was much appreciated.

This is a decent pilsner but there isn't anything memorable/distinctive about it.

Photo of roadhouse
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pokal glass.

Appears golden in color, with lots of lively carbonation. A one inch thick white head forms and settles to a cap. A little bit of lacing left behind.

Aroma seemed mildly skunky at first but it disappeared into a sweet maltiness that was rather biscuity. The hop character was not overly strong but complemented the malt nicely with some spicy and floral tones.

The taste begins on a mildly sweet note that is quickly met by the same floral spicy hops that were in the aroma. The bitterness is not overwhelming, but definitely present. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, very smooth and clean feel. Pretty crisp, makes it quite refreshing.

I can't say I've had many other Czech pilseners to compare to but I think this is a damn good beer. It's even better on draft.

Photo of Stunner97
4.16/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- Golden yellow beer with a big white foamy head, decently carbonated at pour with bubbles running up the side, long lasting foamy head,

Smell- Hop and yeasty smell with maybe slight citrus notes if looking closely at the nose,

Taste- Very very smooth beer from the start, slightly rich buttery creamy feel and taste when it hits your mouth, a very slight bitterness in the finish of this beer. Very clean crisp and tasty. Great for hot summer day or with a barbecue.

Mouthfeel- As premention very smooth and soft feel in the mouth with slight carbonated tones

Drinkability- Supreme this is one for guzzling, very glorious, More complexity then the average macro beer and yet every bit as meant for gulping with a warm slice pizza

This is the beer all the other pilsners try to be and this one the original still holds up to me. Worth the try for sure and good gateway beer for those looking to get off the macro wagon and into good beer.

Photo of confer
4.18/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle poured a beautiful gold with a small head that disappeared quickly.

The smell is refreshing and maybe a hint of orange or other citrus.

The taste is fantastic, light and smooth with a slight hoppy finish, not overpowering at all. A great Pilsner,The mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

As I said before I think its great. This one will be a regular.
They say this is the American version, and the European is even better, Next time in Europe...

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 3,076 ratings.