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Pilsner Urquell - Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

2,747 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,747
Reviews: 1,265
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 16.57%
Wants: 44
Gots: 169 | 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: 2,747 | Reviews: 1,265 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Enola
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%

Poured out an orange tinted yellow color. The beer had a head bit it quickly dissipated. The smell reminds me of a light beer with a touch of hops coming through. The taste is a bit hoppy for a pilsner. Not an strong hop flavor but enough to detect. The mouthfeel is average with a small amount of lingering bitterness. As far as drinkability goes, I could drink these as a session beer. There are better choices but I could drink them if need be.

Enola, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of imrichbeeeatch
4.63/5  rDev +30.1%

I love this beer! I drink a lot of NW beers, and often forget about imported beers like this. I don’t know why.

Served out of a bottle at a local restaurant. Pours big white creamy head (looks like snow). Aroma is beautiful! Saaz pouring out of the glass. Crisp typical lager smell. Malty and clean. First taste is a perfect blend of malt and hops-bread and spice-grain and herbs. Bitter snap brings you back out of the glass. Take a another drink fool.

I COULD LIVE IN THIS GLASS!!!

imrichbeeeatch, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of evanackerman
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%

for me this is the benchmark pilsner by which others should be judged, extremely crisp, beautiful hop bitterness, i don't care if they use hop extract, it tastes great to me! beautiful color for a pilsner. nice beer. nice bready malt and floral hop aroma.

evanackerman, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
2.88/5  rDev -19.1%

Crystal clear golden amber pour with 2 fingers of pure white froth that leaves scattered trails of lace.

Aroma is clean malts, a hint of citrus, and spicey floral hops.

Flavor has cereal and honey malt flavors with a dry, grassy herbal taste followed by hints of skunk, Hoppier than expected with a spicey and floral Saaz finish.

Body is just above light with excessive carbonation and a light beer mouthfeel. Nothing to jump up and down about that's for sure.

AlexJ, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
2.63/5  rDev -26.1%

Straight out of the bottle, it smells a little skunky maybe, and some herbal hop-type aromas come through. Pours a clear dark gold with a medium, dissipating head and small bubbling bubbles. Less skunk, more hops now. Not nearly as aromatic as I had hopped. <-- pun intended

First on the tastebuds is some sharp bitterness, fading to a residual bitter aftertaste. Very clean, straightforward flavour - not noticing any fruit or malts or anything hiding in the back.

I'm smelling a bit of malt now, but very subdued. Taste is still hops only.

I guess there's nothing wrong with this. Nothing bad about it or anything. I'm not exactly a pils expert, but it seems somewhat one-dimensional.

allergictomacros, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%

12 oz green bottle with no freshness date. I grabbed this bottle from the cooler out of an unopened case ... so there is not chance of this beer being light-struck.

A- Bright shimmering golden hue, good white lacing on top.

S- Spicy hops with a canned Mandarin orange citric aroma to them, big waft of grassy grain in the nose as well.

T&M- Just as smooth as it is crisp. Strong hop bitterness, sweet grassy malted barley brushes across the palate with dry biscuity notes. Spiciness from the hops is pronounced with a light and dry finish that holds a long road of flavor.

D- With the use of hop extracts this beer almost tastes too fresh ... or perhaps I am used to old bottles. Either way it is pretty damn bitter, which is not a bad thing ... simply, it is not the same beer from years gone by but it still is a quality brew I would not mind visiting once in a while.

Jason, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of casualbeerman
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%

This was ok, but did not turn out to be my style. I got this after reading some rave reviews for Budwieser Budvar, the Czech beer Busch named its best selling brew after. I couldn't find Budvar (or Czechvar in America) just then, and Urquell is its main competitor, so I got that instead. Plus many people here said Urquell is better anyway. It didn't turn out to be that great for me. The appearance is very pleasant, a golden amber with a substantial white frothy head. The bottle is nice too, I like the green and I think the foil adds a classy touch. The smell was very interesting, and I could detect some grass and even some floral aspects. The taste and mouthfeel were a letdown though. There's medium malt, not much yeast, and very strong hops. This is I think my second beer with Saaz hops, and I do not appreciate them. My problem with virtually all hops is that they generally fall into either the catagory of the almost non-existent (see especially American macro style lagers, but including some better ones like Saranac Smooth Lager or Killians Irish Red), strong and disgusting (skunked beer and Bud), or overbearingly bitter (Urquell, Sierra Nevada, Saranac Aiderondak Amber). Very few beers use hops with my ideal flavor profile which is balanced with some bitterness and a complex flavor (See Sam Adams, Yuengling Traditional Lager). Urquell uses the bitter sledgehammer and I don't appreciate it. There are definately some subtle and enjoyable things going on in the flavor if this beer. But the hops crowd it out. And the mouthfeel and drinkability further suffer because its kind of on the thick side. Of course, by this time, fans of Urquell who are reading this review are probably going "That's what real beer is like idiot! Sorry its not another tastelss Macro lager from Milwalkee or St Louis". Now that'd be a pretty fair thing to say, but I have 2 counters. 1, If your hops are good enough I'll put up with the bitterness. These are close, but not quite there. Strong bitter flavor doesn't make a good hop by itself, at least not for me. 2, Isn't pilsner supposed to be on the light side and thirst quenching? If they really are, then this is not true to the style. Except Urquell is supposed to be the origional pilsner. So my conclusion is that pilsner in general is overhyped. Just because its got an interesting color and a new hop doesn't make it the class of the world. Then again, this was still a good beer and a fairly interesting beer even if I thought it had its faults.

casualbeerman, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of CrazyMike
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%

Very dark tasting beer. It is malty, strong and smooth, a formula that is destined to get a great review from me, however I found the beer to be very bitter at times.

The smell is okay, a bit fruity. After trying this a several times, I noticed you really take a chance on weither it's skunked or not. Just a disclaimer.

It is a fair beer, not the best Czech Pilsner I have tried, but okay.

CrazyMike, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of slitherySOB
2.63/5  rDev -26.1%

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.

slitherySOB, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of Rootdog316
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%

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.

Rootdog316, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of kennyo
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

kennyo, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.2/5  rDev +18%

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.

whynot44, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of ski271
2.45/5  rDev -31.2%

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.

ski271, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of hero27
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

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.

hero27, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of matchz
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

matchz, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3.88/5  rDev +9%

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.

daliandragon, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of christmasg
4.45/5  rDev +25%

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).

christmasg, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of radshoesbro
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%

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.

radshoesbro, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

MaltyGoodness, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of UberWasser
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

UberWasser, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%

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.

cubedbee, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of Daredevil
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%

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 ....

note August 02, 2014: the brew seems to have been quite dramatically altered to mainstream taste, less bitterness, salty notes gone, flowery aromas more streamed, tastes more like Michelob than the original Urquell ... therefore a stiff downgrade ....

Daredevil, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of jarmby1711
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%

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.

jarmby1711, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of BeerBeing
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%

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

BeerBeing, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of wl0307
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%

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.

wl0307, Oct 05, 2005
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 2,747 ratings.