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Leinenkugel's Original - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leinenkugel's OriginalLeinenkugel's Original

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

457 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 457
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 20.48%
Wants: 11
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 457 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
2.23/5  rDev -23.9%

G: Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A: Very light in color, nearly transparent. Pours with a decent, though quickly-receding, head and plenty of visible carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells like the typical adjunct. Minimal amounts of malt and pretty much zero hops.

T: Taste isn't terrible. Poured out of a bottle, although it has a mildy-metallic taste. Other than that, plenty of adjunct and slightly bitter.

M: Slightly creamy. Light mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: Good amount of carbonation and the right mouthfeel, though not much in the way of taste. Although I'm not a big fan of Leinie's to start with, this definitely is not one of their better offerings.

Thorpe429, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev +2.4%

zestar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.25/5  rDev -23.2%

Bright yellow-gold with a pure white head of semi-stiff froth that lasts for a while and doesn't look too shabby on the way down. There isn't an abundance of lace, although a few odds and ends remain just above the surface of the falling cap.

Original smells like slightly sweet grain. It isn't as adjuncty smelling as most macro lagers, yet it isn't as purely malty and hoppy as it could be either. In fact, I don't know that I appreciate any hoppiness at all.

Maybe I should have limited myself to looking at it and smelling it. The start of each mouthful (lightly sweet pale malt) isn't too shabby. The flavor begins to deteriorate almost immediately and doesn't stop until it reaches the beginning stages of grimace-inducing. The advanced stages of grimace-inducing will require a few more degrees. No worries, I won't be drinking it by then.

The mild sweetness hangs around and a sourness intercedes that brings to mind stale rather than fresh grain. It's also a little fruity, but in a general rather than a specific sense. The mouthfeel starts out at light, slides into watery at the midway point, and becomes frankly water-like by the finish. The carbonation is acceptable initially and is AWOL by midglass.

Leinenkugel's Original Lager is, I presume, the first beer that this brewery ever produced. I wonder if it was better back in the day. That is, prior to being dumbed down by virtue of its acquisition by Miller. It's difficult to say since I haven't had a High Life in a while, but I'd put it somewhere in that beer's league, taste and quality-wise. Drinkable when cold? Yes. Desirable? Definitely not.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of ygtbsm94
2/5  rDev -31.7%

ygtbsm94, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev +2.4%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%

jaydoc, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.68/5  rDev -8.5%

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a ½ inch of humble white foam.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented, lightly grainy maltiness, with little else to show for the aroma. Inoffensive, but certainly an underperformer.

Taste: Light pale malts with touches of grain and imparted sweetness. Faint, vague hop character and bitterness. Things slough along until the drying, clean, but, let's face it, pretty empty finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, easy-drinking lager that, while dull, thankfully doesn't come across as packed to the hilt with adjuncts as many others do.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
2.55/5  rDev -13%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Ah, fishing in northern Wisconsin...the perfect opportunity to enjoy more Leinies than in any other situation. Get some. This "original" pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger or so of very quickly-dying white foam. The nose comprises corn, corn syrup, brown rice, and what the group collectively agreed was a mixture of taco seasoning and Jacob Leinenkugel's sweat and tears (no word on what happened to the blood, though...Count Yorga (or Iorga, to some) is a suspect). The other cans didn't really smell this way, nor did this odor come out of the can itself; we believe the snifter (clean, by the way) brought out some hidden smells. Something like that. Regardless, it smelled pretty damn awful. The taste mirrored the smell, minus that noxious second half of pain, though some tin and hard water seeped their way into the rice and corn syrup. The body is very light, with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, not the best of choices for fermented enjoyment, but the price and source are right for downing some brews on a boat while attempting to catch some fish.

TMoney2591, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of zeff80
2.8/5  rDev -4.4%

A - Poured out a straw yellow color with a white, bubbly, one-finger head. It was highly carbonated and left no lace.

S - It smelled of corn and malt.

T - It tasted of corn. It also had a nice sweet quality, as well.

M - It was a little thin and watery. A light-bodied beer.

D - This isn't great but it is drinkable. This beer truly is far better poured from a bottle than from a can.

zeff80, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%

When Homer said "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer", he was talking about something like this...

The can cracks with a quick hiss and pours a clear yellow-gold body beneath a bright white head that exhibits just slightly better than average retention and lacing. It maintains a thin but solid surface covering. The nose is generic lager with a sweetish malt, lightly grassy hops, and yeasty sulphur. It's medium bodied, gently crisp, and then smooth across the palate. The flavor follows the aroma: malt, hops, restrained but balancing bitterness. Dry, grassy finish. Thank God this beer has some character!!! It reminded me of the Schlitz my parents gave me as a kid - a beer with hops, not like most of the mass-produced swill available these days.

NeroFiddled, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.15/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours golden with 3+ fingers of eggshell colored head. Zero lacing & head retention

S: Corny with dextrose & perfumy hops as this warms

T: Lemony hops & sweet corn up front. Dryness, honey notes & cooked cereal shows as this warms. Finishes dry, a bit cloying & grainy

MF: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks okay, a bit too cloying as this warms. Drink ice cold. I'd still take this over BMC

russpowell, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of jwc215
2.73/5  rDev -6.8%

Best by March 31, 2014 marked on the neck of the bottle:

Pours golden with a nice white head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of musty grain with a hint of soap.

The taste is of grainy malt, husk and a touch of soap. Virtually tasteless hops gives some dry balance to the sweetness in the finish.

Pretty crisp, a little fizz sticks to the tongue, but not too fizzy overall.

A bland lager with an odd, though mild, soapy undertone. Personally, if I had to choose, I would take Miller High Life over this. There are cheaper bland brews out there, too.

jwc215, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of smcolw
1.73/5  rDev -41%

After one sip, I sent this one back. The choices from this brewery looked promising, so I decided to start with the "Original". I received an attractive pint--golden in color, clear, nice head.

The smell was very, very light. Often this is the result of a full pour in the pint glass, but this was under the rim.

Very disappointing...think <<insert brewery name>> Light. Watery, no discernable hop, weak malt, no body...in short, a dud.

If you like Light beers, this one might suit you. It's not for me.

smcolw, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of XmnwildX12
2.75/5  rDev -6.1%

XmnwildX12, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
3.05/5  rDev +4.1%

This beer has been on my CAN Wants List for ever!!!! My deepest gratitude to Chaz for going out of his way to get me one at long last. This is not only a big deal in terms of The CANQuest (TM), but also due to the fact that I am proud member in good standing with the Leinie Lodge. I want to move to the Upper Midwest so badly that I just want to taste it in my mouth every day. Sometimes it tastes like Michigan, sometimes like Kleveland (sorry, GLBC, but yer city sux), and every so often, but not often enough, it tastes like Wisco. My new dream, having fulfilled so many others, is to attend UW@Madison to get my Ph.D./Po.D., the last half being a Doctorate of Pornography, in which I would study Victorian-era written porn in great detail.

From the CAN: "Famous Since 1867"; "The Pride of Chippewa Falls"; "Brewed with the Same Recipe by Five Generations of Leinenkugels"; "Back in 1867, our great-great grandfather, Jacob Leinenkugel, began handcrafting his distinctive beer right here in Chippewa Falls, in the very heart of the Wisconsin Northwoods. And, for five generations, our family has proudly carried on his tradition of bringing great tasting beer to the people of the Midwest. So we invite you to experience The Flavor of the Northwoods for yourself. And welcome to our family."

Best of all is the free Native AmeriCAN female with every case, YMMV. Mine was on hand to assist with the Crack & Glug and she did a fine job, producing a finger-and-a-half of bubbly bone-white head with moderate retention that would make any Lodge member proud. Color was a golden-yellow that would have made either/both King Midas and Croesus proud. The nose would make any local pig farmer proud, given its distinct resemblance to silage. The mouthfeel would make any chemist proud, given its resemblance to CO2. The taste would make Greg Koch proud, since he revels in being able to measure his beers by using AALs as his yardstick. The finish would make a drain proud as it either came from one or belonged there. No, sorry, that last was too harsh, but I was at a loss. It was simply a standard AAL. I remain a proud member of the Leinie Lodge, but I have better beer to put in my cooler. Again, YMMV.

woodychandler, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.15/5  rDev +7.5%

Thanks to my cousin Pete for bringing a 6er of this Midwest classic for Christmas. First off this beer gets an A for appearance. It's about the only macro lager I've found that actually has head retention and lacing. The aroma and flavor have a clean, cooked corn/DMS character with toasted grains. Smooth, only a slight barley aftertaste, very drinkable. This beer is to the American adjunct lager, what Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is to American pale ales.

tempest, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
2.75/5  rDev -6.1%

Georgiabeer, May 12, 2014
Photo of mothman
2.8/5  rDev -4.4%

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. No freshness date.

Pours a thin white head. No lace. Color is a clear straw yellow.

Smell is very grain-like. While the taste is quite similiar. Tastes just like an American macro lager, but has a little more quality to it.

Mouthfeel is crisp and similiar to that of water. Nothing over the edge here.

Overall, this is an upgraded macro lager. Not something I would buy again, unless I got into lagers.

mothman, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of ejimhof
2.5/5  rDev -14.7%

ejimhof, May 25, 2014
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev +2.4%

wrightst, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%

Mebuzzard, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%

LXIXME, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of Kelp
3/5  rDev +2.4%

Kelp, May 04, 2013
Photo of Bighuge
2.5/5  rDev -14.7%

Very pale, very clear light, light golden tone. Decent sized white head on top that has some retention. Carbonation looks to be minimal from the appearance. Only sporadic bubbles make their way up. This beer's got a cereal graininess to it on the nose. And some light barley notes as well. Overall, it's a very faint nose however. The beer is a little on the flat side...not totally, but definitely not carbonated the way an American Style Adjunct Lager should be. The taste is quite subdued. Nothing off about it. (Is there ever with the Big Macros??) But nothing on about it either. Light sprinkles of grainy maltiness blend with a bland cereal note. I just had Milwaukee's Best and prefered that to this.

Bighuge, Feb 28, 2005
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Leinenkugel's Original from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.