Leinenkugel's Original - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Leinenkugel's OriginalLeinenkugel's Original

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518 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 518
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 19.8%
Wants: 14
Gots: 56 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 518 | Reviews: 161
Photo of BeerLover99
2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear, straw yellow body, light white up + down head, light/patchy lacing

S: sweet corn, light grain

T: sweet corn, grain, hint of malt, dry/crisp finish

M: light/med body, big carbonation, bubbly on tongue

O: Ok BMC substitute, good hot day/session beer.
Leinie's is good craft beer gateway brewery, baby steps
for your friends and family.


Photo of Chaz
3.42/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost-textbook "straw" in color, topped with a pale off-white head of about two fingers. Head drops at a pretty average rate, so it takes a good several minutes before there's nothing left but a thin film atop the glass, and a bit of stubborn, clingy lace on the sides of the glass.

Nose is pale malts and a light blast of corn grits (although from taking the tour I'm pretty sure that they use corn syrup). The nose reminds me a bit of Grain Belt Premium, but with just a little more soft, biscuit-y malt (there's a different proprietary yeast strain too, but there's no real yeast character on the nose to speak of...) Lightly-tangy lemony/citrus hop character on the nose -- just a touch though.

Crisp, lightly-sweet, and lightly tangy on the first sip. Aromatic hop use is evident here, some form of domestic and Nobel hop combination rising to prominence as the first sip winds-down; I'm getting flashbacks to my memories of "Schmidt" as a kid... Biscuit-y malt lingers alongside a rather good bitterness.

Second sip brings a little more hop bitterness and tang to the forefront (and the beer is warming also beginning to warm in the summer heat...), and this makes me recall both how well and how often I've enjoyed the basic goodness of "Leinie's Original" in the past. The bitterness here isn't too assertive, but it lingers nicely throughout, and this more than anything else sets it apart from other offerings in the "AAL" catch-all style category. A little tart/lemony hop goes a long way here, and just as the hop bitterness is never too assertive, neither is this too tangy.

There's a good mouthfeel, excellent hop/malt balance, and good drinkability overall. The adjunct quality never detracts too much from the beer's better traits, and this is just about the right weight (at 4.6%) for several in one sitting, especially on a hot summer afternoon.

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried this on tap- in a plastic cup. Sorry I had no choice in the matter. This lager poured an almost clear yellow color with a thin white head. Head retention is poor and there was no lacing. The Aroma of the beer was malty and sweet. The taste was mostly sweet with slight hints of grain. I didnt pick up much of a hop flavor- this for sure was not triple hops brewed! Not very good- lawn mower beer at best.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.14/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For an adjunct this is rather nice. There was absolutley nothing offensive about this brew like many others I've tried.

It's a nice golden color with plenty of fizz and a fat finger of foam. The aroma was light with corn or grain and some hops. The taste was some grain, fair amount of crispness. It's super drinkable with a small amount of the crispness remaining. It isn't complex, not very distinctive, but you can enjoy it bottle after bottle. This was the first bottle of Original I've seen in the DSM area so I hope to see more of it.

Photo of GRPunk
3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (dated MAR1411) poured into a pilsener glass.

A- A moderate pour produced a full, 2-finger, white head. The body is a clean, golden color with heavy carbonation. The head sustains around 1/2-finger and leaves nice, sticky rings on the glass.

S- Sweet and slightly bready malts. A bit vegetal. Cooked veggies increase with time/warmth.

T- A mix of bready malt with some fruity qualities that come off as berry-like. Flavors stay sweet in the end and kind of linger for a long aftertaste.

M- Pretty heavy on the carbonation, making it light and a little fizzy. Long finish isn't so desireable.

D- Served cold, it's one of those beers that you can put back a couple in a sitting (as I've done with family during holiday evenings). Doing a formal review makes me see some of the mediocre (if not flawed) aspects of this beer. It's a good BMC substitute.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Average, average, average. It is a light fizzy lager which defines the shitty adjunct style. Smells pretty standard, cheap malts. A bit of a soggy bread smell yet somewhat crisp. Tastes plain, some grainy, adjunct malt flavour, a hint of hops.

It is quite bubbly in the mouth, a bit too much actually. The body is also quite light. Not wretched like some Adjuncts, yet-- unless you have some non BA buddies and it is on sale-- it is undrinkable.

Photo of lstokes
2.58/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Substandard adjunct lager. Is there anything else to say? It's sweet pale malt which fades into watery grainy nothingness with maybe a hop or two peeking through, it's light-bodied and I drank one over two hours of talking to somebody about how bad the job market is. Which is usually a three-beer conversation.

Photo of jmich24
3.03/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am reviewing the Yuengling Lager vs. the leinenkugel Original Lager. My brother-in-law who loves Yuengling needed a substitute since yuengling is not sold in Michigan. I offered him a taste test and Linenkugels won.

A: Crystal clear amber color. Thin 1/8 inch head dissipates fast. Zero lacing
S: BMC but with some maltiness. Bit earthy.
T: Sweet grainy maltiness touch of carmel malt. Zero bitterness
M: Better mouth feel than BMC but still somewhat thin.
D: This is very drinkable improvement to BMC. But I would drink this over many other offerings.

Overall Score: 3.20

A: Golden. crystal clear. Thin 1/8 inch head. Stay around as a cap for the entire beer.
S: Super bland. Touch of grain and yeast.
T: A little sweet. Nice buttery graininess to it. Zero bitterness.
M: Medium mouth feel, somewhat creamy finishes wet. Very smooth the whole time.
D: Very drinkable, improvement on BMC.

Overall Score: 3.00

Both Not super good, but definatly inprovments on BMC. In the end Yuengling Wins by a slight margin.

I do not think these are all that similar to each other. My brother in a law is a Miller Light drinker who love Yuengling on vacation. I'm not surprised he liked Leinenkugels more, it is more like Miller Light to me.

3.63/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Leinenkugel 2004 Challenge on the Chain Pint glass
A: Pours a golden body that is full of carbonation and clear. The white head settles slowly, but is left on the glass with nice lacing and good head retention.
S: A grainy norm for the style, nothing is too overly interesting, but quality none the less.
T/M: The standard for the style, with a bright spice on the mouthfeel that is smooth and refreshing, while the underlining tastes of malty character are expressing a Leinekugel's classic taste. The off taste is a short, quick off the palate sweetness.
D: I find this to be a good, drinkable beer for the style, one that is easy to put down and does make me want to have more (not that I could say that about most Adjuncts). Great in cans and represents the style in good fashion.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.52/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.01/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This was the main beer consumed on guys weekend. Appropriately it was in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, just like this brew was intended to be enjoyed. The appearance as expected is a pale straw color with light head on it. The smell makes me think I shouldn't have poured it into a glass. It smells of corn syrup and stale hops (or some other foul off smell). It's rather sharp on the nose. The taste has a slight bitterness to it which seems ok for a pale lager that it is other than that it tastes similar to the smell, just a little less foul. Bitterness seems to come from the corn syrup but there is some malt and maybe honey in it. That makes it surprisingly a lot smoother than I expected. I will consume a lot of this so I hope it's as drinkable as I think it is.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.63/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by Nov 22, 2010.

Nice light golden colour, looks like many of the style but there's a good 1 finger head of foam to go with it.

The smell is grainy, slightly bitter, with a mild presence of corn. Also quite like many for the style.

The taste has some graininess, very light amount of corn, asome decent bitterness that's very lemon like. Some malt sweets in the background. Not bad at all. In fact, I like.

Good mouthfeel here and I find this very drinkable. The Original just showed up in town and I quite favour it for further sessions.

Photo of herman77
2.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Clear pale yellow with lots of ripping carbonation bubbles. Decent sized eggshell colored head that dies off quickly. Has a decent amount of sticky lacing actually.

S: Sweet grain and corn. Adjunct sweetness. A little bitterness too.

T: Light malt and bitter hops. Cereal grain sweetness. Finishes a little dry. Nothing special at all, but as expected. Could be a lot worse.

M/D: Light body. Pretty thin and watery. Carbonation is on the higher side. Pretty easy drinking though. Probably would be one of my top adjunct lager choices, especially being pretty local.

Photo of AmberMan22
3.32/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta admit, this or Coors takes the cake as the best Macro AAL in my book. Don't think I'd ever turn these down if offered.

The smell is slightly sweeter than most adjunct lagers, which I find enjoyable. The malt flavor just seems to present itself a bit better.

carbonation might be a little strong, but I also drank this leaning on 'too cold', so that probably didn't help. Having it slightly warmer is much more enjoyable.

Overall, this is a macro I can drink without grimacing. That's what I mean when I say best AAL.

Photo of lester619
3.43/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been my old man's brand forever. I have good memories of sneaking them from the garage fridge growing up. Pours a clear golden yellow with not any head retention to speak of. Just drink it from the can and you don't have to care what it looks like. Not much in the way of smell, some light grainy corn but not much else. Absolutly nothing great about it, but to quote Wendell "It's good honest beer." Nice crisp coarbonation, very drinkable. Just a normal yellow beer from a can. Nothing wrong with that.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single with no freshness date. I am surprised we do not get this beer here in Tx as we get at least a half dozen other Leinie's. Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a 2 finger bone-white head that displays average retention and no lacing.

Nose is sweet light malts, I really dont get all that much in the way of adjuncts in the smell. There is even a smidge of floral hops in here. Not bad for an AAL.

Taste is grainy malts that taste and feel a bit stale and cardboardy. Very light tasting beer and certainly corn oriented. A bit too much fruitiness shows through for a lager - green apples and grapes. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and carbonation is not that high for the style. Not too much to get excited about, but I would choose this over a bud light anyday. 12 pack for 10 bucks...I might do that every once in a while. For an adjunct lager, one could do worse.

Photo of Wisconsin
3.26/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into a Leinie's pint glass

I've had this beer numerous times but have never taken the time to review it. Here goes:

A - Considering I have never poured this out of a can before I am actually somewhat impressed by how this looks. Nice golden, straw yellow, clear body that his about a finger thick head that is white and fluffy. Plenty of carbonation trickling up. Head fades to a nice lace after a couple of minutes. Pretty impressed with the appearance after having much lower expectations before pouring.

S - Here's where things start to go down hill. Plan malts, slightly sweet with maybe a hint of corn that is ever so slight. Some yeast, grains and faint hops are also present.

T - A real basic beer as one would expect. Lots of malts, grains, and a faint taste of corn. Smooth, and enjoyable throughout but nothing that blows you away.

M - Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Grains, slight hop body along with a light malt backbone all standout as the beer enters your mouth. Carbonation leads those aspects through and finishes very clean, crisp and smooth with a nice hint of corn.

D - I'm sure many of us from Wisconsin all have stories of wild nights drinking with this beer. In Wisconsin this has a bigger following than Miller in my opinion and it's quite enjoyable in just about any experience. The smooth, clean body makes it drinkable at just about any time or occasion.

Photo of woosterbill
3.09/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a surprisingly rich amber-gold body with tons of carbonation sustaining a two-finger head of dense white foam that sticks around seemingly forever: by far the best head I've ever seen on a beer of this style, it verges on being "rocky" - really impressive. Still, it's fizzy yellow beer, so I can't bring myself to award the 5, even though it looks amazing according to style.

S: Thoroughly boring adjunct aroma of thin grain and mild hops. Nothing off, but nothing exciting.

T: A little short of boring. Absolutely nothing worth talking about - grains, some adjunct funk, and just enough hops to dry out the palate. No finish to speak of. The most positive word to describe this might be inoffensive; the worst might be mind-numbing.

M: Nothing to comment on - fizzy and thin, just as one would expect.

D: Not as watery as some other examples of the style, which I suppose works against it in this category. It is pretty refreshing, though, so no complaints about drinkability.

Notes: Leinie's will always have a place in my heart, as it's the beer my dad has always had in the fridge (and therefore the first I ever had a sip of); it's a very respectable adjunct lager, but it's still exactly that. Classic, refreshing, and a great looking beer for its style, Leinie's deserves respect - but respect doesn't mean I'll be buying it myself now or ever.


Photo of kimcgolf
3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much to this one. As much as I had heard profess to liking "Leiny", I was expecting more from this. Pours a pale yellow with little white head and not much lacing. Aroma is muted and what is present is grainy hops. Mouthfeel is pretty lackluster and the taste follows the nose. Short, dry finish rounds out this ho-hum beer.

Photo of Strix
3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sort of amazed I've never reviewed this.

Poured golden yellow.

Smells sweet, slightly malty. The optimist in me smells toasted bread crust and the pessimist smells sulphur.

Taste is relatively clean, some cereal grains, and a hint of hops. Sweet malty character is evident, though so is corn. I wonder what the Miller merger has done to the taste of this, I'm not old enough to remember the old days.

Mouthfeel adequate.

This beer has a devout following in WI, so I won't be too harsh. Suffice to say my relatively experienced palate is not impressed as it once was. This is a macro lager with more taste than some. If cold, it's alright.

Leine's, if you're reading this, please make less of this, and more Big Eddy RIS. PLEASE. I'm begging you. You have proven you can make phenomenal beers -- If you want to.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Crystal-clear light-yellow beer, topped with a pale, large-bubbled white head. Pretty low head retention, resulting in a less-than-attractive beer, looking more like stale yellow water.

S-Grain, slightly corny. A hint of spicy hops, and a little bit of sweet.

T-Semi-sweet grainy malts, dry, with a subtle hop bitterness. Hop character also seems to be present in some nuance of spice, hay. Finishes semi-dry and bitter.

M-Light body, as expected for this style of beer. Carbonation was pleasantly lower than expected (still medium-high), which allowed the subtler flavor to fully play.

D-Appropriate for enjoyment while in the northwoods, as all of their ads now display. Leinie's is an odd duck. Original is a classic "dad's beer" in the region, holding a pretty loyal following of life-long Leinenkugel fans. The company seems to be somewhat straying from this thread (possibly under the influence of MillerSAB, 49% owner of the company), but while they continue to make Original, I'll continue to drink it.

Photo of kbeals
3.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a pale straw yellow with about a finger of head. Some head retention and lacing, but not much.

S- A faint malty smell, along with just a touch of hops. Als detect a hint of something citrusy or like bananas, possibly from the grain.

T- Taste follows along the same lines as the smell. Still picking up a banana-like taste, not great but not totally offensive.

M- Light-bodied with plenty of carbonation, the bubbles were streaming up from the bottom continuously.

D- It could be pretty easy to drink this stuff, the ABV is relatively low and it's not an overall bad beer. I probably wouldn't buy it again however.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pale golden yellow color with a fizzy white head, high carbonation. Aroma is slightly grainy and hoppy for a pale lager. Flavor is crisp , and again quite hoppy fore a pale Lager , nice crisp mouthfeel , light body and quite refreshing , very sessionable , I might buy this again for company

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.14/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a Nonic. Markings but no date.

A - Poured a nice clear golden yellow with a sudsy and loose white head. Decent retention and some sticky lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet roasted corn, light malts, and a touch of dry straw. A very light hop aroma on the nose as well.

T - Starts with a sweet corn and light malt flavor and turns quickly to dry straw and light hops. There is a mineral water and slight metallic taste being imparted that I don't ever remember in this beer. Possibly the can on this one.

M - Light bodied, crisp, and refreshing, it's got a small carbonation bite to the finish.

D - It's beer. Not fantastic and definitely not bad for a lawnmower brew. I enjoy it from time to time and would never pass up the opportunity to consume one...especially for free.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Leinenkugel's Original from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.