1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
81
good

2,803 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,803
Reviews: 1,266
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 16.57%
Wants: 51
Gots: 187 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilsner Urquell Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,803 | Reviews: 1,266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jvajda
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a yard of this at Sunset in Allston. Very nice, but it gets awkward near the bottom of the glass.

Appearance: Light golden color with a standard head.
Smell: Grassy and very slightly hoppy.
Taste: Hops are crisp and easy-going. This is a refreshing brew good for hot days. Very grassy and only slighty malty.
Mouthfeel: Light on the mouth.
Drinkability: A good fall back beer when you can't get much else, but nothing incredibly special about this beer.

jvajda, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
2.53/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

on tap at Redbone's

By the fate of the beer wheel was I awarded a chill amber pint with no head and no smell. It didn't seem so bad at first, but the fusty backtaste grew steadily harsher until it was slowly overwhelmed by syrupy nastiness.

I think I would have preferred the PBR.

gentlebubbles, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of jed
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 30 cl on tap at Bohemia Bagel in Prague. Served in a Pilsner Urquell glass.

Appearance: Beautiful, golden yellow color with even strings of bubbles rising up. Nice big two finger head with a very light, cake-like texture; excellent head retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a trail of very thick lacing.

Smell: A nice, clean-smlling mix of piney hops and sweet, bready yeast notes.

Taste: Bitter nose that breaks into sweet, bready flavors and pine hop notes. Fewer citrus flavors than I expected for a pilsner, but I'm not that familiar with the style. More raw grain flavors as the beer warms. Very dry finish from the hops with some lingering bitterness and more sweet grain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very clean, slightly dry mouthfeel. This beer is almost perfectly carbonated, which makes it very smooth.

Drinkability: Good flavor and a good mouthfeel give this one near-perfect drinkability. Would make an excellent session beer, as evidenced by the high level of alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic.

Not surprisingly, you can get Pilser Urquell almost everywhere in Prague, usually for less than $1.00. While I hear that the U.S. version is weaker or watered down, the original version is a seminal example of the pilsner style. The original and still one of the best … na zdravi!

jed, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of brewQ
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This "draft" was poured a dark gold with a puffy white head.
I couldn't discern the hop subtleties in the bar environment.

The flavor had a hint of sweetness and then finished abruptly.
Likely fine with the style but not my favorite profile.
Certainly had marks of quality and certainly drinkable.

I can't help but wonder if this delicate brew will suffer as it is pushed into more distribution. The corporate marketing boys will dummy this profile into extinction.

brewQ, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Did there used to be more to this beer? I just don't see how it is such a well-known and popular beer. I guess it could be a gateway pilsner for macro drinkers but not much more. Seems a bit watered down and the flavors seem a little weak. Still its easy to drink. I noticed a floral hoppiness mixed with a cereal grainy flavor. Not bad but not good enough either. Even though I had this one on-tap it might not have been the freshest sample. I've had many better pilsners than this.

granger10, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of soper2000
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah the legend that is Pilsner Urquell. I've been drinking this beer on and off for over a year now but i've never taken any notes so I picked up a single on my last beer run. I will be the first to admit that i normally don't enjoy pilsners that much unless i'm in the right environment/mood. With that being said here is my review:

Appearance: Poured a crisp, clear, slighty dark golden color with a white head.

Smell: Hmm, These Saaz hops certainly have an interesting smell. Very floral in aroma, a decent smell, just not my favorite.

Taste: Huge floral notes to this beer. Those hops sure are something special, I was just expecting to find something a little bit cleaner and smoother from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Good, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing special.

Drinkability: Very good, could be a decent session beer

In the end this is just not my style, i can see how it could be good, even great, for some. It just doesn't cut it for me though.

soper2000, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of BierReise
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On Draught Clear light gold with a small snow white head. Fresh grain aroma with a nice bit of hops to boot. Thin body and crisp with a slight bitterness in the finish that lingers. Flavor is fresh grains and not much else. The classic Pils. Refreshing and a great companion for a sandwich.

BierReise, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of Joey7F
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had Pilsner Urquell at Hogan's in Tampa. Everyone told me it was like Czechvar, but I gotta say this one is, imo a more flavorful brew. There is a slight citrus flavor that turns into a grassy kind of flavor almost instantly. In fact, I drank a few sips quickly to see if my mind was playing tricks on me. It has a good head, it smells decent, and I probably could drink these all night long. Another guy, who is a BA offline, said it was "pretty much like Budweiser", having just had Budweiser recently, I was shocked at the comment! This is what Budweiser should have been, clean, slightly hoppy and flavorful from start to finish. To top it off, you can usually get this good brew for less than Corona!

--Joey

Joey7F, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of kmcnair
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a traditional pilsner, golden with a light white head.

Smell is very malted, sweet and rich of cereal grains.

Taste is very malty, hop characteristic is subliminal. This should be a base comparison for a pils, has some notes of fruit in the aftertaste and is sweet. Very slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, coats malty and has a smooth finish.

I can see this being a session beer, perfect for enjoying a sunday sporting event or working on the car. Highly drinkable in mass quantity.

kmcnair, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden color white creamy head leaves specks of lace as it dwindles. Aroma: Semi funky tone spicy Saaz hop profile nice biscuit matiness. Taste: Crisp zesty hops nice all around flavorful pils with a rolling cereal grain sweetness to top it off session brew. Mouthfeel: Ligther bodied lager decent carbonation the original pilsner. Drinkability: Excellent go to when no better options are available nice crisp lager can't complain good stuff.

WVbeergeek, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking pilsener: active bubbly body of a slightly dark gold color, plastic-like soap-scum head. The nose is pretty remarkable, with great big floral hops dominating the scene, with malts in the backround. Positively pungent.

The taste is clean and hoppy--light body. Great hoppy dryness to the finish. A caramel taste emerged as the beer warmed--which was welcome and balanced the taste off with the smell.

The carbonation is aggressive at every step of the way. I'm feelin archetypical pilsener here. Probably great with food.

God bless the Czech Republic. And God bless Slovakia.

donnebaby, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of tjd25
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a golden orange color and the head quickly disappeared. The carbonation made my burp almost instantaneously. The smell was grainy, with not much going on. Something bad in the aroma at first.

The taste was more interesting than I expected. Crispy, with a nice sweetness, I found some caramel in it, which made the mouthfeel smooth and enjoyable. An aspect of classic basic lager makes the beer taste like many others (or many others taste like this beer), but I found the caramel thing interesting. The aftertaste is hoppy and thicker than I expected.

The kind of beers you drink liters of in a session. Good, but not exceptional.

tjd25, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack at my local Bi-Lo in Cleveland. Pours out of the bottle a golden, clear yellow. An Impressive four finger width head comes from nowhere, glad there’s some extra room in the glass. This is a pretty beer for what it is, lots of small carbonation bubbles rush for the top. Lacing clings beautifully in clumpy chunks and patches all the way down the glass.

As soon as I crack this, I’m hit by SKUNK, pretty bad, I can smell it a good foot or so away from my face. Upon closer inspection of the smell, I can detect the malts and bitter hop smell behind the skunk, but whoo-wee is it hidden behind it well.

Taste is nice, just trying not to inhale the skunk odors as I drink. Leads in mildly sweet and malty and transitions gently into an earthy, bready flavor, ever so slightly dry at the end. The hops are really subdued here. Mouthfeel is super clean, and crisp. Goes down like nothing.

Good beer, I have a feeling this may have been sitting on the shelf a long time to acquire the skunky aroma which was the only downside to an otherwise pleasurable drinking experience. This would make a nice barstool sessioner with the boys. There are other styles that attract my attention more, but this beer is perfectly serviceable.

FormatKid, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The beer pours a crystal clear, deep gold, with a smooth, even, pure white head. The initial lacing is good, and coupled with fine, active carbonation, it's an attractive beer.

Smell: The smell is fairly mild and typical pilsner; hops, grain and subdued malt sweetness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The initial flavor is all Saaz hops. As the flavor progresses, a sweet, breadlike combination of grain and malt come into the mix. The finish is bitter and drying. The mouthfeel, while thin, is soft and smooth.

Drinkability: Like most real pilsners, this is crisp and delicious; infinitely drinkable.

I've found the flavor variation in pilsners to be very small; they're either "right" or they're not. This is right indeed. If you enjoy pilsner, you'll enjoy this.

WetCoaster, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of PCaravan
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wating a while to write a review of this beer since I didn't want an even unperceptival level of skunkiness from the light exposier through the green bottles to effect my review. I finally found a place that served it on tap... hense out of stainless steal kegs that block out all light.

It's appreance was exeptionally clear and a deeper golden color than it's modern day American counterpart. Smell was slightly hoppy with a touch of malt which it typical. I did miss out on the typical pepperyness I usually get from this beer when from bottles... don't know why. Taste was of initial malty smoothness with a lingering mellow bitterness. Again, missed that pepperyness for some reason... maybe it was the smoker next to me ruining some of the more delicate smells and tastes.

PCaravan, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant clear golden yellow with a thin white head. Good lace drapes the glass. The clarity gives a great look at the dancing bubbles that float gracefully to the surface of the beer.

There is a hoppy mildly malty aroma that is understated and dramatic. There is the characteristic bohemian hop smell you expect from a great beer.

The aroma gives way to a crisp mildly sweet flavor. The saaz hops make themselves known in the mouth and leave me wanting more. There is a slight maltiness that balances the bitter hops nicely.

This is an excellent driking beer that would be nice to drink anytime of the year. This was also an excellent addition to the cabbage dish I made. This is a very good beer.

filabrazilia, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of cypressbob
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'd heard about this after becoming a big fan of czech brews such as budvar and eisbrau a fair while ago

The appearance of the beer is great. Lovely amber coloured body.

The head is faint and last for a short while. The smell is slightly more complex than some other pilsners, however it is not as smooth as others also.

The taste is akin to budvar but with a much more prominant hops flavour, encorporating heavy bitterness and a sour lemon fragrance. Slight corn finish

A good pilsner, although slight corn husk aftertaste lets it down

cypressbob, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pilsners hold a special place in my heart. Many a time I recall my trips to Germany which included the phrase "einen pils" quite frequently. I pick this one up to reminisce sometimes, though it is not approximately as good as some of the German varieties. Pours a beautiful gold with good carbonation and an ample, airy head that persists. The smell is what does it: reminds me of the Hofbrau house every time. Sweet and bitter and bready, like good beer should be. The taste is a little skunky but has a nice bitter middle and a lingering biscuity sweetness. Mouthfeel is fine. A little bit chewy but not so much that it overwhelms the delicate fruity nuances of the brew. Drinkability is tops. This is certainly not a championship beer (at least in its imported form), but it is solid and thoroughly enjoyable. Yum. Munchen.

MobBarley, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ozer, purchased at Main St. Liquors, Monson, MA, as part of do-it-yourself mixed 6 pack.

Poured into an pint mug, 1/2" snow white head formed which receded quickly down to a short foamy film, leaving little to no lace behind. Beer is light gold in color, with a slight but biting aroma of hops, with a touch of malt present as well. Taste is dominated by a crisp, clean flavor from the hops, with the light malts sneaking in at the end. No shock to me, but the "original pilsner" is a great representation of the style.

ppoitras, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of Cwrw
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One cannot help but feel a degree of reverence for this beer. Even if it has become mass-marketed, it deserves respect for virtually DEFINING the most emulated and duplicated style of beer in the world. This is the original; the basis, the foundation. The appearance is better than average, honey-coloured, translucent, with ample head and a creamy ring forming and leaving healthy lace. I suppose the appearance does not impress me much simply because its look is so similar to literally hundreds of other beers; indeed, it is such an imitated style that its appearance no longer holds any novelty. The aroma is spicy with that lovely Saaz hop, malty, bready; even slight fruitiness greets the nose. There is a pleasant toastiness of malt, very well balanced with the Saaz. This, to me, is how a good lager should smell. In short, it is absolutely bursting with aroma compared to so many lagers. The taste is bready and crisp on the middle of the tongue, followed by that lovely, dry bitterness, leaving an aftertaste to savour. Slight caramel malt flavours keep the taste partly sweet before the finish. Despite the light appearance, this has a nice full taste, leaving so many mass-produced lagers in the dust. To those accustomed to disgusting adjunct-lager beer, this is a massive leap forward. In fact, sewage-water, trendy, media-influenced beer drinkers will probably find it too hoppy and flavourful for their woefully under-developed palates. For intelligent beer consumers, however, this is an essential brew simply because of its pedigree and influence; its legacy. And, oh yes, it tastes great, too.

Cwrw, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of 57andcounting
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
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.)

57andcounting, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of trekbiker3000
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured out the classic golden yellow color. The bubbles clung to the side of the glass and continued to rise to the surface like a glass of champagne.

I could not detect much odor, there is something there, but I cannot get enough to describe it accurately.

The taste did not do much for me. It's reminicent of the beer I grew up with in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Stegmaier. I guess my ancestors brought the Czech recipes with them. There is a slight aftertaste that detracts from the flavor.

The mouthfeel is wet and refreshing with a little more than average fizz.

The drinkability is just average, probably a beer I would serve to my relatives.

trekbiker3000, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a sunny golden yellow, crisp and clear. An almost soapy white head puffs up, then settles soon to sparse islets of froth. There's moderate fine lacing on the glass.

A yeasty sourness duels with bitter European hops for king of the hill, or aroma, as the case may be. Meanwhile, a malted grain sweetness swirls beneath the two more dominant elements, buoying them about.

The gentle sweetness of malt plays a bigger part in the flavor than the aroma. It swims in, plying its trade, before submerging and giving way to a biscuity yeast tartness. The hops bitterness is more subdued at first before stepping forward and lingering bitterly but nicely to the finish. It's typically pilsner-balanced, but perhaps more finely than most.

A little north of light bodied, it washes across the palate slickly, refreshing the tongue with carbonation and hops tingle.

An original, it carries the standar high and proud. The gentle sweetness keeps the bitterness from becoming arrogant, and the hops and crisp character make it truly refreshing. It cleverly forgoes the distracting bitterness common to some pilsners, making it desireable and highly drinkable. It's one strong reason why the Czech brewing legacy is as vaunted as it is.

Foxman, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of ToolHead
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

50 cl bottle, served in Urquell glass.
Dark gold w/ good-sized head. Pleasant, hoppy aroma. Crisp, bitter taste w/ a pleasant bite, and a fabulous, lingering, very distinctive finish. Easier to drink than water.
I never get tired of this beer, and I regret that I didn't get around to tasting it some years back when it had even more character.

ToolHead, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer arrived at the table a crystal clear pale straw. The head was once there, but had falled while waiting to be delivered to the table. The head did lace the glass.

The aroma is Saaz hops with a subtle malty aroma,

The flavor is crisp with good Saaz bittering and slight malty flavors underneath.

The finish goes to dry and pleasant ligering bitterness. The body is light and almost watery.

A very refreshing beer!

On tap at Bailey's Smokehouse in Richmond.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 22, 2004
Pilsner Urquell from Plzensky Prazdroj, a. s.
81 out of 100 based on 2,803 ratings.