Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and 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.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Weihenstephaner Original - Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Not Rated.
Weihenstephaner OriginalWeihenstephaner Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.

838 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 838
Hads: 2,074
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 161
Gots: 272 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan visit their 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: 838 | Hads: 2,074
Photo of Onceeven
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been criminally neglecting lagers for quite some time now.. I think I needed to drink this beer to set me straight. This bottle has been beckoning at the beer store for the past six months, so I put an end to its incessant stare and took it home.
Nothing special from the pour. Creamy white head lasted a few seconds then dissipated to nothing. No lacing to speak of, I was having doubts right off the bat. A spicy but subtle hop aroma greeted my nose, like a good German pils, but with a malty backbone. Sweet and bready, wonderfully balanced. The taste is spicy and slightly prickly with a subtle candy-like sweetness. Remarkably smooth, and satisfying yet still flavorful.
Didn't think I'd ever like a helles this much. Well done.

 741 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

presentation: 16.9oz. bottle with weihenstephaner's typical front label. "the world's oldest brewery" (since 1040) is donned on the front. "imported by bavaria house corp. wilmington, nc" also on front label. 5.1% abv. also printed on the label is: "brewed under the purity law of 1516". gotta love that!

appearance: pours a super clear, bright wheat colored tower of bubbling brilliance in a pilsner glass. huge meringue-like head that dissapates sparatically like pouring model glue on styrofoam. good lacing and sticking.

smell: clean lager like aroma. wheat and a touch of citrus and hops. some sweet cake-like malty undertones as well. alcohol after warming and swirling.

taste: malty for a lager, but i think this is good for this style. lightly spicy hops are lingering in the background. very clean taste. lightly astringent dry finish with a hint of lemon poppyseed cake.

mouthfeel: mouthfeel is excellent for a lager. there is such a smooth, crisp feel to this light bodied brew. light carbonation. being light and crisp, you'd think the swallow would be harsh like a macro, but nope. swallow is velvet. love it!

drinkability: are you kidding me? this brew was gone after the first sip. i won't be able to keep this in the fridge.

overall: please note that this is far from my favorite beer. it's far from my favorite styles of beer. however within the style, i must rate this beer high. it's fantastic!

 1,431 characters

Photo of BeerNutta
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Do Weihenstephaner know how to make bad beers?

A = Golden Amber color.

S = Sweet malty smell with a light hop infusion.

T = Sweet malts and fruits. (apples?) Crisp hop finish. Very nice!!

M = Moderate carbonation. If anything I would say I wish it was slightly less carbonated. Just ever so slightly. Its borderline fizzy.

D = Great. Relatively cheap for such a great beer.

 388 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured extremely clear yellow golden that had an active head of multiple sized bubbles. This head fell pretty quickly to leave a very still looking beer with only a few bubbles rising as it stands. It would have been nice for it to have a bit more retention

Aroma: Typical well-crafted Helles...it smells like a milkshake. There are toasty aromas by the bucket load, but the malty sweetness is the dominant characteristic of the aroma. As it warms a bit, the hops are starting to peek through the abundant malty aromatics

Taste: It has a really clean flavor profile. There is a tad of hops noticeable when you first taste the beer, but they step back and let the beer finish balanced toward the malt in the finish like this style dictates. The lack of carbonation makes this particular example seem heavier on the palate than it should in my opinion.

Opinion: This is a super flavorful beer! I just love this style, because you have a beer that is as light as a Budweiser sitting in front of you that has so much to offer your palate! They are beautiful when well crafted, and this is one of them. I believe that there must have been something up at the brewery when they bottled this batch, because it seems under carbonated. There was a good amount of off-gas when I opened the cap, so I don't think that it leaked...besides the fact that it still tastes good. I will definitely be drinking this beer again...and probably review it again because I think that this bottle is an anomaly.

 1,508 characters

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber (size listed as "16.9 FL.OZ.") purchased at The Cheese Monger's Shop in Leavenworth for $2.99.

Poured a very slightly hazy straw-gold color, with a big, fizzy white head that, while noisy, was not long for this world. No lace at all.

The smell is lightly malty, with a mildly spicy hop presence.

The taste is similar to the smell, though the flavor comes out more. Fizzy yellowish beers are not generally my thing, but I'd like them more if more of them had flavor like this one. The maltiness is lightly sweet, the hoppiness is mildly herbal, but packs a slight peppery spiciness. This is a very tasty light bodied beer, and is quite nice on a fairly hot day like today.

A you can guess, it's pretty light bodied. While I prefer something with a little more substance (or, in the case of my beloved porters and stouts, a LOT more), this would be quite nice to quaff in quantity on a hot day. Apparently the world's oldest brewery makes a lawnmower beer!

 973 characters

Photo of slyke
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the friends who introduced me to this beer a few years ago. I don't drink enough of it, but each time I pick it up, I savor it.

Appearance: Clear yellow/gold with a small, but persistent white head.

Smell: Pretty balanced as the style should be. A bit more hops than malt in the aroma.

Taste: Again, pretty balanced as it should be. Taste is a bit more malt than hops.

Mouthfeel: Real good. Just, again, as it should be.

Drinkability: A very quaffable lager. I especially enjoy this one on summer evenings.

This is an excellent beer. Coming from the oldest brewery in the world, it should be. They must be doing something right to have stayed in business since 1040. Anybody up for a Weihenstephaner millenium celebration in about 35 years?

 769 characters

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

Paid .60EUR + .08EUR glass deposit for a 500mL bottle.

*Reviewed on 07.07.2005

Pure golden base, medium white head, great retention and initial signs of laces less so later in the consumption process. The smell is like any other helles, weak hops, mild malts.

Taste is pretty smooth, decent aftertaste, very light in both malts and hops but a great balance. No true signs of harshness in the mouth, one of the best beers in the world in this department. If it tastes a little better it would receive the drinkability 5.0, but it is just a basic Helles with great looks and mouthfeel. An impressive session beer.

Final Thought: Well, Weihenstephaner makes another great beer but it could increase the flavor of this one.

 731 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 16.9 ounce bottle poured into a goblet. No freshness date to be found and I would bet this is older than it should be... it has certainly been in temperatures that weren't beer friendly.
Pours a hazy, light amber color with some good bubbling and a decent amount of lacing for a lager.
Smells... Belgian! well, almost. It's probably the malts but I'm getting smells that remind me quite a bit of Belgian yeasts. Very bold scent, doesn't smell old or skunked, I personally enjoy it a great deal. More fragrant than any lager I've come across.
Tastes rich and malty... reminds me of a witbier in a lot of ways. Mouthfeel is pretty thick for a lager, with a lingering aftertaste that I can't quite place though I know I've tasted it before... I don't mind it one bit.
A bit too sweet to be super drinkable but I'd be happy with another pint.
Great bang for the buck beer.

 888 characters

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

A lager I can enjoy and the spouse likes it, too! Reasonably priced also.

Clear bright gold with bridal white head and columns of carbonation. Nose was a bit bready, but simply the lack of a corn smell in a beer this color is enough to make it a winner. Taste was light and smooth. This is the answer to those macro folks who "can't taste their beers" because it has just enough crispness, just enough hop bite to make it a quenching, if a tad boring, and satisfying beverage. The mouthfeel is a little too thin, but never watery, for my taste. Consuming these should not be an issue for anyone who even remotely likes beer.

 627 characters

Photo of Brian700
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clear blonde color with a white head that sticks around for a short time. No real lacing going on. The aroma is of light malt and mild hops. The taste follows the nose. It has the flavor of light malt with a light hop aftertaste. A little bit of a dry finish. The mouthfeel is average. medium carbonation with a dry finish. It's a semi-drinkable beer. I wouldn't stop anyone from trying it but I don't know if I'd recommend it. It's a good beer but there is nothing about it that stands out and makes it special.

 529 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale yellow (almost the shade of budwieser) with a nice white head that dissapates quickly...pretty average looking lager. Smell is bready malt with a fruity yeast background, wasnt really expecting the fruity, banana like smell from this lager. Taste is pretty standard for a munich helles, very clean palate with a bread-like malt accent and a light fruity banana flavor hiding in the background. The finish is clean and crisp, the mouthfeel is thin and its moderately carbonated. The drinkability is pretty high, this is a somewhat flavorful beer thats extremely drinkable, a pretty good offering from brauerei Weihenstephan but not really up to the standard of their wheat beers.

 697 characters

Photo of cubedbee
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light golden color with a finger of white head a little bit of lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles visible even after a few minutes in the glass. Clean biscuitlike malt aroma with a little bit of floral hops are present in the nose. The taste is more of the same biscuity malts, with a mild citric hoppiness joining in at the end. The extremely clean and crisp finish and the simple malt goodness makes this a very refreshing brew. As someone who prefers ales, I must say this is an excellent beer, and probably the best lager I've had the pleasure of tasting.

 573 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one's just lovely on tap...pale golden yellow with a nice big head that slowly recedes into nice lace.

Smell and flavor are both largely malt, with a nice toasty grain feel and some more understated citrus and floral notes really rounding things out nicely. Taste is quite clean and crisp. Sort of a nice biscuity flavor in the finish that I really like.

Overall: Kind of cliched, but this is sort of the grandaddy of good lagers; well worth seeking out on tap; it's even better than in bottles.

 507 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale golden color with a nice white head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing

Smell: Malty biscuit nose with faint citrus hops in the background

Taste: Very clean; starts out with a good biscuit malt backbone which survives through to the finish; a spicy mild lemon citrus flavor joins the fray and provides a nice crisp finish

Mouthfeel: Typical lager mouthfeel with good carbonation

Drinkability: Although I'm not a big lager fan, this is a beer that fits the bill to a Tee; a good one for a summer's day at the beach

 558 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pretty good German Brew. Hay like golden colour, that pours out clear with medium carbonation and a decent head. Left a touch of lace around the glass as the head came down. Odors of malt and alcohol were detected, as were the faint scent of baked bread. Flavor was straighforward and crisp, with overtones of malt, yeast and hops. A very good example of German beers brewed to the 1516 Purity Law. Worth a try.

 413 characters

Photo of beertastegood
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear light golden color with a very tall white fluffy head. Appears very effervescent. Smells of grassy hops, slight citrus notes (lemony) and sweet, toasted sugar aromas. Taste is more citrus-y than the smell, with a prominent lemon flavor that melds with some hop bitterness and a very slight malty flavor backing it up. Extremely light and refreshing...finish is crisp and clean with a faint hop bitterness lingering. Very drinkable, with a light body and high carbonation.

 490 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle with no dates pored into a pilsner.

Pale gold with a small white head that manages to leave some lacing.

Smells malty with some yeast and slight hops. There's also some grain like aromas.

A nice clean balance of hop and malt make up most of the taste. The hops provide a dry finish that is also clean. The light mouthfeel and low abv make this a very drinkable beer as warmer weather approaches.

Notes: Although I'm not a lager drinker, I do enjoy SA Boston Lager with large meals. I could see Weihenstephaner becoming it's replacement as it is a much more balanced, not as hoppy, alternative.

 619 characters

Photo of Weizenmensch
3.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer may be classified as a Munich Helles Lager, but it tasted extremely similar to a Breznak I had recently. Same floral hop aroma, same average head retention, and possibly the same effects of not being quite fresh enough. This last point may have led to the comparison - I can't remember what it's like to have fresher than the one I just had, but in any case, this and Breznak are in the same beer category in my book. In fact, I bought this thinking it was the Hefeweißbier (which I really felt like) but didn't read the label properly and realised upon the first sip (and spurious clarity) that it wasn't a Weissbier at all. And to think, I broke one of my good Weizen glasses while getting it out, and I wasn't even having a Weissbier after all! In any case, a good beer, better consumed fresh, but doesn't satisfy when you're after a real Weizen. Good thing I'm following it up with a Weihenstephaner Dunkel...

 924 characters

Photo of BeerFink
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an effervescent clear pale blonde color topped with a pure white head. Looks very refreshing and inviting. Clean aroma of grass and grain, very slight floral note. Good smell, but a little weak. Taste is very smooth and clean. Hops and malt are equally married, beginning to end. A refreshing lemony hop jolt is well backed by sweet and biscuity malt. Some grassiness is present and dances with faint fruit. A hint of clove or some other spice is present as well. Perfect carbonation balances the creamy mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable and refreshing lager.

 562 characters

Photo of Luigi
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden yellow with an impressive white head that laces around the glass. Which means, the head retention is great! It blankets the top of the Lager till the very end.

The aroma is full of black pepper spice, lemon, grass, and bread. Very clean!

The aroma reflects the taste. Very clean crisp light citrus from the hop, followed by the honey sweet like malt.

The finish is light and refreshing with the malt lingering a little.

Clean tasty refreshing, authentic German Lager! Nothing more to say... pick some up!! You will love it!!

 539 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought I would try something a little different from the usual Pales, IPA's, Stouts, Porters, Belgian styles, etc. to earn the empty mug picture next to my name. I don't usually drink a lot of lagers, and I figured I should venture into the world of German beers if I wanted to get into lagers. I also thought I would stick with a style that I have enjoyed from a different brewery (I absolutely loved the Boulevard Bob's 47) usuing the bros. recommendation from the styles; but there is just something about real German lagers that I am not particularly fond of, aside from Bocks and Marzen. I am not typically the person who will rate a beer low just because it isn't unbearably dark, roasted, and hoppy, but on the other hand, I don't like my beer to give me a sour apple pucker face. This wasn't quite as unbearable as the Kindl Weiss, but if the fact that I was actually able to finish this beer instead of pouring out half is any testament to its greatness, I'll be friggin' damned. Anyways, on to the actual review.

The appearance is crystal clear and yellow with a thin white head that disappears to nothing soon after the pour, leaving no lace. The smell is overbearingly malty, and somehow the sourness is even detectable in the nose (although to be fair, this was after I had drank a few and the sourness was wearing thin on my mouth at this point). The taste was, as you could guess from my review, sour apple and some pale and/or wheat malts. Perhaps I am just biased towards ales, with a few exceptions, but I am by no means biased towards the darker, heavier brews. This just wasn't my cup of tea. The body was weak, and the drinkability was nullified by the puckering of my taste buds. I've been wanting to start venturing into diverse world of German beer for quite a while, but I've had nothing but disappointment from any [authentic] German beer I've ever had. I don't know what the deal is with the Purity Laws, but I tend to think it is making for some stale brew. Obviously I must be missing something, though, as the German styles seem to be quite beloved by everyone I know from the most beer savvy even to the most macro-piss-swill drinking of folks I know. I'll keep trying different German beers, but I am not impressed so far.

edit 2/28/2005: After abstaining from this brew for a few days, I decided to give another go with the remaining half of my 6 pack. For some reason I enjoyed this much more and have adjusted my marks accordingly (I would still recommend the Boulevard Bob's '47 over this if accessible and in season).

 2,563 characters

Photo of tweeder263
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured out a yellow beer with much carbonation, 2 finger head.Mild grainy smell slightly sweet smell.Tastes pretty standard,wayy better then a macro lager but along the same lines,clean ending beer. Mouthfeel is pretty boring,average. Not a bad brew though, wouldnt mind knocking a few back once in a while.

 307 characters

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy pale peach with milky white head.

Sweet lemony scent that hangs in there. Hint of bread yeast emerges.

More lemon up front overlaying sweet malt, which seemed almost honey-cloying at first, but as the hops emerged all falls into balance. More yeastiness binds it together and offers some fruitiness.

Light bodied with mild carbonation.

Pretty nice, but I keep losing interest in it. Took me a while to finish it off.

 443 characters

Photo of bearrunner44
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very light golden color. The color is nearly indistinguishable from macrobrews like Old Style, Stroh's, or Miller High Life. There isn't much head. Most of it fades quickly, but the remnants of the head leave some decent lacing on the side of the glass. Overall, it's pretty average to look at.

Smell: Light, bready malt.

Taste: The mouthfeel is a little thin, but the carbonation is low enough to keep the beer from feeling soda-like. The taste mostly consists of toasty malt, and there's a very, very light touch of citrus-tasting hops in the finish. This is a very simple, straight-forward lager.

Verdict: Not bad for what it is. It's not especially complex or flavorful, but it's a nice, easy-drinking, malty lager. I'm not sure it's worth paying import price for it all the time, but it's a nice beer all the same.

 842 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightly hazed straw gold color with a thin white head. Aromas of bready pale malts, a light yeastiness and faint hopping. This helles is going to be swayed towards the malty side. It is very crisp and tasty, malty and smooth. Lightly astringent from moderate hopping that comes through in the finish paired with a faint citrusiness which makes for a very drinkable lager. The yeast has its own flavor profile, which is faintly chalky and nutty. It actually is pretty well balanced. Not as malt-dominant as I thought from the aroma. A finely crafted helles in every sense. Recommended for any occasion when a lighter, yet flavorful lager is in order.

 657 characters

Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
90 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.