Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Uerige Altbier - Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei

Not Rated.
Uerige AltbierUerige Altbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

191 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 268
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 26
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei visit their website

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Longstaff on 10-01-2002

Uerige Alt ist das an Bitterstoffen reichste Bier Deutschlands. Trotzdem (oder gerade darum) ist dieses legendäre Düsseldorfer Altbier so vollmundig, aromatisch und bekömmlich.

Gebraut wird unsere obergärige Spezialität seit 1862 aus Gerstenmalz, Caramelmalz, Röstmalz, Doldenhopfen, Wasser – und mit unserer ganz besonderen Uerige-Hefe.

Unser Uerige Alt wird regelmäßig unter die zehn besten Biere Deutschlands gewählt. Es hat einen Alkoholgehalt von 4,7% und ein Mindestfrischedatum von acht Wochen.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 191 | Hads: 268
Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orangy copper color, clear and distinct with a flow of strong bubbles coursing up after every sip, small, densely sitting foam cap resides to a ever present hazy skim. Lacing in thin foamy sheets.
Aroma is toasty with nuts and caramel with a light herbal hop touch.
Taste is remarkably nice, very nice and smooth toasty factions of malts, some whole grain goodness, smokey barley seeps, light caramel and unsalted nuts gain and help smooth it out. Great herbal hop biting finish thats just a nudge spicy and holds on to the palate for a good ride. Like that finish.
Feel is about medium, starts a bit grainy with a solid hold and carbonation but drifts off some to a lighter finish, but thats where the nice hop finish does its thing so it more then makes up for it.
As far as quaffing, this stuff takes the cake, very smooth, a nice balance and meld of subtle flavors. Very dee-lish and drinkable; gone in no time cuz that 11.2 oz bottle ain't nearly enough.
Thanks to trbeer for the extra bottle!

 1,007 characters

Photo of dar482
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a hazy dark ruby with lots of particulate.

The aroma has pilsner quality of floral, grassiness, a toasted malt, caramel and candy sweetness, lager yeast.

The flavor follows with a slight caramel and candy sweetness in the front. A pilsner and lager yeast quality. Floral hops. Then onto a strong bitterness for the style of grassiness, earthiness, almost pine, and a big herbal and tea leaf quality.

A pretty good beer for the style, but because of the bitterness and hops, I suspect that my 10 month old bottle had some oxidation, so try to get this beer fresher than that.

 595 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is clear with a solid brown color and a foaming head that showed incredible retention. It left some cool lacing on the inside of my Pils glass, which I sacrilegiously used just for the hell of it.

Smell – The malts here are heavier than what you’d expect in an Altbier, but of course this is the “double secret” delicious drop. The sweets are muted at this point, but the hops are actually quite large.

Taste – Yes, this is a Düsseldorf classic. It’s much bigger than a normal Altbier, although you could still probably session it. The alcohol is incognito. The malts are big and bitter, adding to the bitterness from the hops. This one also has a big brown sugary kick at the end, giving away the location of the brewery.

Mouthfeel – The Doppelsticke is on the big side of medium-bodied yet still very sessionable. The flavors and mouthfeel fall rightly in order.

Drinkability – This is a little bigger than I prefer my Altbiers, but it sure lives up to its billing. If you want to try an Altbier on steroids than this is it. You could probably even cellar this is you wanted.

 1,121 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with not much of a head to speak of. Aromas are a bit weaker than the sticke but still consists of nuts, spices, floral/herbal hops and more. The taste is hoppy up front and malty in the middle witha good balance of the spicy/nuttiniess. Mouthfeel seems a bit thin for me but drinkability is very good. Despite its short comings this is still damn nice. It will live in the shadows when compared to the sticke though, imo.

 433 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice chestnut brown color with a nice dense cream colored head that left some insane lacing on the glass. The aroma is of a rich nutty malt, a bit buttery and a hint of steel. The taste is very malty. Chocolate and roasted malts prevail, some mineral water, and a light but noticable hoppy bitterness towards the end. Perhaps a very very light fruitiness as well. The feel is light and almost watery, fairly soft carbonation and finishes bitter from the malt and hops. A great looking Altbier with a nice roasty malt taste. The feel was a bit thin but that is the only real negative.

 591 characters

Photo of cokes
4.74/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A mildly hazy deep golden-copper. The head is ducked-down; a large-bubbled dirty white.
The nose is ripe with dry, grainy malts, and dampened sweet caramel ones. Along with loud herb-encrusted hopping.
Taste begins dry- pils-esque for a moment- and full of crackers. Deepens with caramel, but never turns very sweet. An absolute deluge of nuts rain down. Walnuts and almonds and Brazils. Hopping is crisp and loud. There is a sense of molten metal, gold perhaps, or brass. Back to nature upon conclusion, autumnal fields with withering flowers and wind-whipped brown grasses.
And it lingers.

Refined, then refined again.
Cite "lack of complexity"? You're wrong. This runs deeper than beers 3 times its size. The restraint and harmony here are unmatched.

If not for the price, this would be my "anytime" beer. The only two places $4 disappears faster are casinos and strip clubs. And it depends on the Strip Club.

Just goddamn delicious. Perhaps even more so than the Sticke.
Or perhaps not.
Both are Galaxy-class.

 1,036 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel color intoa stange with an inch of tight, bubbly off-white head. Nice streaming carbonation throughout. Really nice to look at.

Aroma is quite malty, with a bit of European hop bitterness and spicy fruitiness. Smells tasty.

Flavor is malty with a light bitterness and a huge fruit presence, almost cherry-like at times. Finishes nice and dry with a nice little nuttiness in there, too.

Mouthfeel is crisp and nicely-carbonated.

Overall: Quite a nice alt, but there's not really much comparison to their doppelsticke I tried last week. Still worth seeking out and a pleasant surprise in the super-cool bottle.

 643 characters

Photo of FLima
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice bottle, just careful when you open it, I got it spilled on my eyes.
Slightly hazy copper color, and it gets really murky at the last pour. Made a two finger head with medium retention and leaving laces through the glass.
Nice aroma of light toasted malts and floral and earthy hops.
More intense flavor than announced by nose with toasted malts and piney and grassy hops. Hints of caramel, earth, condiments, citrus and prunes. Dry aftertaste with a bitter hoppy feeling.
Medium body with medium carbonation.
Classic example of an Altbier, and a one hard to beat, though haven’t tried their other versions.

 613 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wickedly cool bottle (will save for homebrew). My first Uerige product and I hope to try the stronger versions of this as well. Pours a slightly cloudy dark orange-copper, topped by a firm, thick cushion of light brown head, flecked with bits of darker yeast. This is a good looking beer. Nose is full of cookie dough malts and molasses backed by a spicy, kind of vegetal twang that balances nicely. Doughy sweet malt flavors flash up front, but quickly give way to toasted grain and spicy, bitter, dry hops. The most bitter alt I've had and probably the driest finishing. Nice. The hop bitterness is tasty too: floral and herbal. The finish, as I've mentioned, is dry with winks of cookie-ish malt over bitter minerals. Medium-bodied. Exceedingly drinkable. I'd love to try this on-tap at the source...

 803 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freaky pencil-necked, swivel-capped, yeastless bottle. But lots of vitality when that cap goes *POP*. Poured a honey-brown color with a full finger of soft billowy head. The strange thing was the aroma. It kept shifting accents on me. One moment it smelled like a pilsner, the next I was in the presence of kölsch. The nose was at first bright and malty and accented with floral notes. But is seemed to travel in the direction of a musty lemon scent as time passed.

The taste is curiously both sweet and malty – almost a second cousin to a rauchbier. The flavor also had an unusual lapse. Just before the finish it grew dilute – nearly absent – and then a nice bitter finish latched hold and lingered.

Despite the initial enthusiastic unleashing of trapped gasses, this brew soon lost most of its fizz and remained largely inactive throughout my tasting. This fast release and prolonged stillness goes a long way towards explaining the flux in flavors.

 966 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger of tan head. Copper, almost brown, colored body.
Smell is barnyardish, hay, caramel and tinge of lemon.
Taste is bitter/sweet at first, sweet caramel in the middle, long dry bitter finish. A little sourness throughout.
Medium body, low carbonation. Slightly sticky texture.
Tasty and a good altbier.

 313 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

LOve the bottle for this one..a work of art. Now the beer..lovelly looking ale it is an almost glowing amber with a huge sticky, frothy off white head...great lacing. Aroma is strong on the malts..some small hops too. Very soft malty flavour..semi dry finish,, some hints of honey and a small hoppiness at the very end. Very nice on the palate. Not the "biggest" beer in the world but certainly a top class Alt.

 411 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bottle.

This altbier poured a slightly hazy, copper color with creamy, off-white foam that was very persistent and clung to the glass. There was a good, steady carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was nicely malty with a hint of cocoa and a touch of hops. The taste was hoppy up front with a strong malt backbone. There were some fruity, malty flavors and a slight bitterness and hoppiness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and good carbonation. The aftertaste was both malty and hoppy, and it lingered pleasantly. This was a very nice altbier.

 600 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive, brown, swingtop bottle pours a hazy, bronze amber body with a 3 cm ivory head that retains well and deposits massive sheet and patch lacing. Quite impressive to behold.

Aroma has a caramel maltiness that is balanced by a fresh, floral hop character.

Mouthfeel has lively carbonation and a light to medium body.

The taste comes off as very well balanced. Lots of fresh tasting hops lend a herbal and floral bitterness that combine very well with the malt varieties used in this Dusseldorf gem. No hint of alcohol, but none expected at 4.5%. A very refreshing, and very enjoyable altbier. The hops never overwhelm, and lend an ideal balance that results in a clasic Alt. Very drinkable!

 705 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The old beer pours a deep, semi-hazy oaken brown, with a frothy rock chalk head of ivory.

This may be a German beer, but the aroma reminds me of an English bitter - woody, doughy and plenty of resins. Quaff has an odd off-taste of woody wet cardboard, plus the bready backbone.

Not a bad beer, nothing great, but with the import price this is one I'd overlook the next time around.

 383 characters

Photo of Boto
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl. bottle: This one pours a slightly hazy, somewhat coppery-brownish color. Mine had very little head that dropped off quickly and left no lacing. The aroma is good. Some notes of fruit (possible apple) and caramel. Some grassy hops also. The taste is quite good. A hint of sweetness in the beginning, followed by a dry, biscuity taste, along with some bitterness. A large amount of flavor for such a low alcohol beer.

 421 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the unique swingtop bottle that IS 'Uerige', a 0.33L/11.2 oz. pour into a Kulmbacher stange. Label on the neck offers: Bottled on 05.03; Code 04 06.

A: An auburn-tinged chestnut brown, faint light penetrating. Thin streams of carbonation wriggle upwards through a murky fog of suspended yeasty bits. Head builds to nearly two fingers of ivory foam, leaves banding lace. Not quite sure if this is intended to look so unfiltered (my first time to try this particular beer)...

S: An herbal/minty hopping fills the nose, dry earthen malts. Almost 'clay'-like - so dusty; slight woodsy smokiness. Hints of apple skin and nutmeg.

T: Dark bread crusts, toasted and dusted with raw cinnamon shavings. Burnt bitterness atop, a grassy/herbal hopping. A little 'black tea'-like at times, with hints of dried dark fruit. Vague touches of brown sugar and honey. Ends mostly bitter, chalky and mineral-like.

M: Lip-smacking maltiness, sharp and drying across the tongue. Medium mouthfeel (borderline 'thin'), lively carbonation. Lasting char/smoke, yet somehow sweetness keeps sneaking in.

D: Nice hop/malt balance. Had some bratwurst and spätzle earlier in the evening; I'll bet this would have made a great pairing - next time... Very well done.

 1,245 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured an deep golden amber color with just a slight haze. The head was yellow and moussy which laced the glass, but more than that stood tall from the first swallow to the last.

The aroma was nutty with a Munich character (even though no Munich is used in the beer). Also present were some caramel and chocolate notes. No distinct hop aromas.

The flavor was definitely bitter but well achieved with some munich, chocolate and caramel flavors. The bitterness was assertive and well done.

The finish was dry and hoppy bitter into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

The flavor is huge in this beer with only a 4.5% ABV. The aroma could be a bit larger, but the flavor is the surprize of the day. Have to give it the whole enchilada for the flavor.

11.2 ounce swing top bottle mostly in German. Purchased at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC.

 868 characters

Photo of Mitchster
1.66/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

$3.49 for a 11.2 oz bottle at Merchant's. Pours out to a medium amber, burnt orange, forming a modest off-white soapy head with poor retention and absent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is difficult to pick up as it is quite weak, bit there is lightly soured caramel and sweetened condensed milk with an otherwise clean ferment. The mouthfeel is smooth and light bodied with a woody dry finish. The taste is quite odd..there is a wierd chemical taste to it that I haven't tasted in a beer before...it tastes very medicinal and perfumy and soapy. Moderate woodsy bitterness.

I don't know what to make of this beer, but it's not good. I wouldn't buy it or recommend it. This beer tastes like carcinogens and death. Down the drain 1/3 of the way into it.

 765 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours lightly oranged tea color with a finger of head that falls to a solid true coat over top. Nose is very toasty with lighter raisiney notes hiding behind it. There is a big toffee sweetness in it as well. Flavor is very interesting. The hops are much more dominant here than in the nose. With a light toastyness and a moderate raisin. Hops is grassy and herbal in flavor with a pretty healthy bitterness. I like it. Feel is moderate with a carbonation on the lighter end of moderate. OVerall, I find this to be a pretty nice brew. I'm not overly familiar with the style, but this is an enjoyable beer. I'd have it again...one day hopefully while in Germany to see what it is like without a trip across the ocean, as its nice now, but I bet better over there.

 762 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City.

Pours cloudy medium brown with a lasting off-white head and good lacing.

Aroma is malty and nutty for the most part. Nice but not too much to it.

Flavor is not sweet at all. Caramel malt, grain, slight fruitiness, and slight hops.

Medium-bodied and crisp with good carbonation.

Very good for the style overall, but not outstanding for a beer in general. Drinkable.

 416 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Moderately hazy, I really like the color offered here, it is a coppery-amber hue with just a tickle of tawny influence. It looks even more beautiful when I hold it to a light. The head was off-white; the bubbles were tightly compacted and about two fingers in height. The head retention was impressive; it was a slow fader, as a tight cap lasted the entire consumption. Subsequent lacing was quite prevalent, thick, and well organized. Lovely.

Altbier is a style that has never impressed me. I realize the two Uerige Alts are considered the best. Still, I wonder how much better could they be? Well I got my hands on “Classic” and one sniff of the bouquet told me this was a whole different ballgame! Hops are present and accounted for, grassy, herbal, with a kiss of spice. Malt is luscious at times, caramel syrup, almonds, raisins, and a trace of dry crackers. Too bad the potency is only modest. Still the nose is inviting.

The palate was damn good and it even seems to show a little age. A beer this small has a long way to travel. I bet this beer would be killer fresh. Still, the palate has charm, hops upfront that offer a grassy, herbal quality, lightly spicy too. The middle is a good mix of fruit (like raisins and plums) and caramel malt sweetness with a dry, cracker underbelly. At the end a kiss of alcohol-like heat is noticed and then the beer sails to the finish. The finish is graceful, it is a soft mix of all of the above flavors, and nothing stands out above anything else. There is something about the finish that is magical. There is some intangible quality I can’t put my finger on, let alone describe. I guess I can just call it “complexity” and leave it at that. The palate is damn tasty. I’m impressed. I can’t imagine what this beer would taste like on cask.

Medium in body with subtle carbonation that helps produce a silky-smooth mouthfeel. It is to die for.

This is quite drinkable; too bad it is not sold in a bigger bottle. Too bad it ran me $5.00 for the 11.2 ounces in Milwaukee, WI. Too bad Germany is so far away. Worthy of its reputation…recommended.

Update as of 02/02/06: I got another bottle of Classic. Like my first bottle (review above) it shows a little age. I am not going to adjust any of the numbers or really write a new review. I will say I can reaffirm the already known; this is a damn tasty Alt. I want nothing more then a stunningly fresh bottle! I'll try again...

 2,446 characters

Photo of Offa
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is phenomenal, and seems to me the benchmark for a great altbier.

Dark copper, it has a big tan head soon shrinking to a thick foamy top, some lace.

Aroma is nice caramelly toast, raisins, wood, spice, toffee hint.

Taste is caramelised toast, fruit, woody-spicy bitterness to balance and give a light bite at finish. Very well-rounded, it is complex and balanced. It's wonderful, characterful, yet easily drinkable session beer.

 436 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice brown color with a very generous level of carbonation. Malty aroma with a hint of sweetness-almost a touch of cinnamon in the backround. Flavor is mostly malt-slight hop bitterness in the finish. A very slight metallic aftertaste but its not unpleasant. Good body. A drinkable beer-well worth trying after hearing about it for years. I would love to get to Germany for the real thing on tap.

 401 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly clear but deep bronze brew, good head architecture. Retains almost none of that head, thinnest of rings around the outside, little islands of tiny bubbles float around the middle. Dark fruit Vienna malt aroma, a touch bready and quite earthy.

The flavor is dark fruit, a lot of caramel malt. Actually a fair amount of hop presence, as compared to the other Alts or doppelbocks. I think the hops are a little peppery and maybe a little citric. The mouthfeel is a little oily from the hops, thick and viscous though. Great brew, I prefer this one to the other Ueriges for drinkability, although for 4.5% it's not the easiest-drinking beer.

 650 characters

Uerige Altbier from Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei
89 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.