Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Weihenstephaner Original - Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Not Rated.
Weihenstephaner OriginalWeihenstephaner Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.

849 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 849
Hads: 2,115
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 177
Gots: 301 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Germany | website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager | 5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-30-2000

A good beer takes its time. The long storage makes our yellow bright lager, “Original”, a flavourful beer enjoyed with fine poured, white foam. With a mild hoppy note and its pleasant fresh spicy taste, it goes very well with salads, poultry, stews or with a hearty snack. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Weihenstephaner Original Alström Bros
Reviews: 849 | Hads: 2,115
Photo of plaid75
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very pale straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light grainy malt with a solid and slow devolping earthy noble hop.

The taste consisted of a clean grain and soft doughiness. A slight lemon zest is detected as well. The flavor finishes dry with the help of some noble hop.

The mouthfeel was light and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall a good and drinkable lager. Simple and straightforward.

 476 characters

Photo of rjimlad
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I read the reviews from other BAs I had to relook at the bottle to see if I was drinking the same thing. Several said there's was cloudy or hazy. Mine was kristall klar and a pale straw colour. I got no phenolics that some reported but a malty grassy aroma and similar taste. There was a crisp sparkly mouthfeel but otherwise nothing overly complex. It sure is drinkable and I really enjoyed drinking it but it's not overly interesting. If I was going to a BBQ and this was available I might take it but then I'd probably just buy the hefe and be really happy.

 565 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a simple but perfectly executed lager. The smell and taste are similar; grassy, organic, hints of clove and citrus. Hops linger slightly (in a pleasant way) in the otherwise very clean finish. A bit thicker than I was expecting, there's a slightly creamy quality that I found highly enjoyable. This is hilariously drinkable stuff.

 338 characters

Photo of SetarconeX
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy yellow brew with a fairly light, yeasty scent. The foam on this beer sticks like glue to the side of my glass. Taste is unrelentingly grainy, which I tend to like in my lagers. A nice dash of hops, and an exceedingly crisp and clean finish, with perhaps just a slight cereal aftertaste.

A great lager, and a good addition to the fridge. This one's recommended.

 372 characters

Photo of muffguy4beer
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: vibrant yellow in color, clear with ample head due to vigorous pour action.

Smell: I pick up the malty goodness, dash of lemon.

Taste: very balanced brew, has a nice sweet front with a slightly tart back end.

Mouthfeel: medium body with crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: easy drinking beer most definitely for the summer time, a style that I am more and more appreciating and trying to replicate in my homebrewing.

 477 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Talk about tasting something "again for the first time." This is one of the first real Germans I tried (after the obligatory Beck's) and thought it was good. But I really didn't appreciate how good until years later, drinking it again as an experienced (IMHO) BA. The color is nice, somewhat cloudy pale yellow; with a fresh, subtle malt/hops in the nose. Thinner mouthfeel, but very nice taste that balances the pale malt flavor with a distinctly fruity or citrus (?) hops flavor that makes it extremely refreshing to drink. According to a German wine lover I know, the taste is reminiscent (if subtlely so) of a crisp German Riesling Kabinett. Very good--and something that I've served to BAs and "macro" lovers alike, with equal rave reviews. Truly a universally popular German helles.

 788 characters

Photo of gmfessen
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy, light yellow-gold color with a thick, bubbly head that blankets the top of the beer. The smell is both sweet and spicy, slightly of cloves. The taste is very mellow, with an initial spicy sweet malt nicely balanced with a decent hop profile and finishes with a slight sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth, lightly carbonated consistency. This is an enjoyable and drinkable beer. I've had their Hefe several times and I would say this is on the same par as that (for the style).

 563 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A crisp, happy hay colro withs consistant bubbling, but a light, bright head of less than one finger. The aroma was a pale and crystal amlt delight with hints of some mineral water and grass. The taste was a crisp hay field of pale and pilsner malts. The hard water makes itself evident in this beer. Very good though. Helps bring the hops into a better light. Slightly dry, but other very crisp and refreshing palate. I need to have one of these out of a boot.

 461 characters

Photo of July2Nov
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a 0.5L Weihenstephan glass: Opaque golden hue with a huge four finger head that sticks throughout the life of the beer.

Smell: Clean, wheat aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a hint of both cloves and banana. Finishes with a faint grainy taste. Refreshing. Leaves the mouth with a clean aftertaste. Simply great!

Drinkability: If you have never had this, I recommend that you seek it out. I could drink this all day, every day!

Footnote: From the Weihenstephaner website: "The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan. Nearly one thousand years ago it was the monastery brewery of the Benedictine monks, then the Royal Bavarian State Brewery. Today, as a regulated enterprise of the Freestate of Bavaria, it is a company run according to the precepts of private business. As the oldest existing brewery in the world, our brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising, surrounded by the comparatively still very young Weihenstephan science centre of the Technical University of Munich. Yet it is precisely this unique combination of tradition and custom, proven knowledge, and modern science, which gives the brewery its incomparable identity and permits it to brew beers of the highest quality."

 1,275 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden straw color with a decent white head that left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. The nose is very faint, some noble hop scent. Has a dry cracker malt taste with some light hop flavor. The flavor doesn't stand out but it is nice and crisp and refreshing. The feel is a bit watery, crisp, finishes very nice. This is a very drinkable and refreshing beer, why American macros can't follow this style is beyond me.

 441 characters

Photo of witster18
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this poured light gold with a 1"head average retention and when it left it look out of this world for a lager...a cool foamy/stickyness on the surface with lots of nice lacing forming. Smell is earthy hops and a hint of banana. Love that hops on the nose. Taste is a little dissapointing considering...appearance. Just doesn't go down very easy...mouthfeel is nice but there's no lingering good tastes...this is overrated here....would it be a travesty to say that Velas Hellas from Gatlinburg is as good? Sorry I know this Brewery has been doing this since 1040 but I thought it would be better. Good but not fantastic by any means...other than it's appearance.

 662 characters

Photo of maximumsheehan
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy straw color, very little head retention.

S - Empty, bland

T - Surprisingly warm, clove flavors come foward, as it warms it becomes more and more complex, notes of coffee replace the clove.

M - Despite the warmth of the taste it goes down fairly easy and doesn't destroy the palate

D - Smooth

 315 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour into my rarely-used pokal raises a sweet-looking off-white two-finger head that has lots of large bubbles slowly bursting through the foamy surface. It falls slowly, leaving sticky lace on the sides of the glass. Below, the body is hazy, deep golden yellow. It's about the appearance of a filtered wheat, even at the thinnest part of the glass. The nose smells of sweet grains, and just a tad less noble hop aroma than expected from a pils. Clean and mild. The taste is the same way. I've enjoyed Helles before, but there's just not much to be said. It's got a lot more taste than most macros, and, unlike them, no off flavors, but this just doesn't do it for me. Medium-light in the mouth, with high carb. I won't be seeking this out, my fav. Helles is Penn's.

 770 characters

Photo of guitarmage
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Vibrant, clear, pale, straw yellow, lots of little bubbles rising up the glass. Decent head retention, nice sea-foam white lacing floats on the top of the beer. Good looking.

Smell: Light and malty, round, a light grassy hop character, lightly metallic, phenolic.

Taste: Nice light sweetness gives way to a light grassy hoppiness, very clean, finishes a little citrus and puckering.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, hard, nice even gentle carbonation, dries up and evaporates.

Drinkability: A good lager, I haven't tried specifically munich helles lager, but this is refreshing and flavorful for a lager.

 614 characters

Photo of IlliniRob
3.29/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden-yellow hue… looked a bit too much like urine. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass with a tall fluffy head that dissipated quickly. Little lacing. Carbonation evident, but not to champagne levels.

S: Very sweet with a hint of floral hoppiness.

T: Starts off tart, then very sweet, and finishes with a touch of a hoppy bite or metallic tinge.

M: Clean, but a bit overly bubbly/frothy.

D: Very quaffable. Would go well with most food. Good enough beer for its style, but nothing to make me say "wow".

 536 characters

Photo of BassAssassin
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw in color. Very clear with good amount of carbonation. Head could have been thicker, although this could have been due to an improper pour.

S: A nice balance of malt sweetness and spicy, floral hop aroma. Reminds me of a pilsner, only slightly sweeter.

T: Starts with a pleasant, mild sweetness. Malt quickly takes a back seat to a spicy, slightly astringent, hop bite. Nicely balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied. Nice rounded mouthfeel thins out toward the bottom of the glass.

D: Highly drinkable lager. Crisp and refreshing. It's really too bad this is not more widely available and/or marketed. It could convert a lot of macro drinkers to craft beer drinkers.

 690 characters

Photo of jaluria
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden-yellow color with a frothy white head. Medium-high carbonation. Aromas of malt, honey, and hops. The flavor is dominated by sweet malt with a crisp juicy texture, slightly chewy. Hops and malt are well balanced. Honey and light fruit flavors upfront, with bread and malt flavors in the finish. Overall, this is enjoyable and an excellent example of the style.

 366 characters

Photo of tcfishler
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost clear light yellow-gold. Good-sized, very persistent and sticky white head, with lots of lacing.

Aromas are surprisingly low-toned, with toast, ripe fruit, and spice.

Carbonation is high but exquisitely fine, lending a more substantial mouthfeel to this otherwise light-bodied brew. Flavors are light and more restrained than the nose, leaning towards the sweet side of the spectrum.

Outstanding - however, the sweetness means this is not the best option for a refreshing, quaffing lager.

 504 characters

Photo of joecast
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. 5.1%abv best before 03/07.
label says "bayrisch mild" below "original"

pours a light golden color with a full inch thick white fluffy head. medium carbonation with small bubbles making their way slowly and steadily to the surface.

mostly a sweet malty aroma bordering on candy. not much in the way of any hops which is a shame. no bready malts either. a bit one dimensional.

a bit more balance in the taste. the malt has a bit more presence, or maybe the sweetness is toned down. slightly more noticeable hops, though they are still a bit light for my liking.
hmm as it warms, the sweetness seems to take fade even more aiding not just the taste, but drinkability as well.

received in a trade with finite (thanks). thought it was a hefe until just before reviewing. so not the style i was expecting, still a nice beer overall.

 856 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/6/06: A-4, S-3, T-3.5, M-4.5, O-4.5

12 oz. with some code on the label. It pours into the pils a clear light gold (almost to the point of macro) with light to medium carbonation leading up to an inch of white head that leaves nice sheets and lace. In the nose it's spicy/grassy hops with hints of hay and the palate mimics this nicely, with a dash of sweet malts to balance the almost medium bitterness. The body is medium with carbonation that borders on tingly, and it leaves a short finish. Overall worth a try and would make a good session beer if not for being a tad expensive. Overall - 3.73

5/23/11: A-4.5, S-3.5, T-4.5, M-4, O-4.5

From a 500 mL German bottle, 11.8P OG, 24 IBUs. It pours a fairly carbonated pale gold, topped with two fingers of crackly white head that retains well and deposits loads of lacing. A few floaties keep it from a five for appearance. Smells lemony/grassy and metallic at first, sweet, with an increasing doughy character; very smooth and appealing, but not very aromatic. The flavor is bright and gently malt forward, with doughy/biscuity and grainy malts that yield a light sweetness, and lemony/grassy/herbal hops that balance nicely and contribute a mild bitterness. The body is fairly light, well-carbonated and silky smooth, with a light bitterness in the short finish. Quite a drinkable beer, and one that is very clean and well-brewed. A great helles that is hard to savor because it drinks so easily - definitely recommended. Overall - 4.25

 1,492 characters

Photo of GimpyCane
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For several months now I've been indulging myself with IPA, DIPA, Stouts, IRS, Porters, and Pale Ales. This weekend I decided to try some German lagers such as this one. Poured a clear blond hue with a small frothy one inch white head. The head last throughout the drink and left a good amount of lacing. The aroma was faint yet my wife and I got a whiff coliander, light sweet bread, fresh cut hay and strangely enough clean barnyard (weird). The flavor was lightly malty sweet from start to finish, nice fizzy carbonation, clean and crisp. Overall, we like this brew alot and glad we picked it up. The drinkability is easy and very refreshing.

 645 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very light, clean, minimaly vibrant gold with a variety of bubbles at different speeds moving towards the top. Head is white and sudsy with cavernous bubbles through out the mass.

S: Corn pops, cooked vegetables, little bit of copper coin and banana.

T: Calcium carbonate like flavor right off the get go. Noble hops and slow lagered malts add the trademark German taste. Moves towards some metallic moments leaning towards the copper side. Finishes with a grassy flavor sort of like green tea.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel but a bit prickly.

D: This is a session beer that goes well with almost any food. That said, there is nothing profound about this beer which will enable it to stand out in my mind.

 721 characters

Photo of GregBrewski
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This one complements my Weihenstephan 0.5 glass very nicely. It pours a light golden color with a thick white head that leaves some lacing. It smells sweet, of malt and honey. Tastes sweet as well, not too sweet though. The malt and honey type taste are evident, so are the slight hint of hops. This is a very light and crisp brew. Very easily drinkable.

 354 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger white head that fades to a ring leaving no lace. Clear amber color. Light bodied and light carbonation. Nose is lemony. Starts with some sweetness, mild flavor, hoppy/lemon finish. $2.99 for a 500ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City,IA.

 263 characters

Photo of AChamberlain
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a .5l bottle bought from the Park Slope Food Coop.

A: Clear golden and shimmering. Thick white head. A perfect looking helles.

S: Matly and sweet aromas.

T: Malty and bready. Sweet aftertaste, so good!

M: Very smooth. Light to medium bodied.

D: Extremely drinkable. All day long...

 310 characters

Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
90 out of 100 based on 849 ratings.