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Hoegaarden Original White Ale - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Not Rated.
Hoegaarden Original White AleHoegaarden Original White Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,485 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,485
Reviews: 1,682
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 99
Gots: 607 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden visit their website

Style | ABV
Witbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,485 | Reviews: 1,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fingerlaker
4.85/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THere is a reason that for many years this won the World Beer Cup for best in it's category- it's one of the, if not the best biere blanche out there.

Compared to Allagash White this is thinner and has a MUCH more prominent fruit essence. I would drink this over AW any day; I noticed a weird iron flavor to the Maine brew.

Open it up, pour it into a hexagonal glass (remembering to do that "3/4-empty swirl" near the end) the beer is a white color made slightly strawlike from the malt. The head is pure virgin white.

Smell is a benchmark for European White ales. It's mainly the wheat malt plus a ton of oranges and lemons, but together it works so perfectly. I wish I could get it in a Yankee Candle CarJar.

I've drank well over 400 beers (so I guess that makes me a newbie, hahaha) and a lot of that was focusing on the wheat beers. I've drank them from Belgium, Germany, USA, France, England... and Hoegaarden is my favorite taste:-) The taste comprises of an intense sweetness that isn't syrupy whatsoever and clean as the driven snow, then *BAM* the lemon/orange flavors hit. Some complain of a lack of hops in this beer. Who the hell wants hops in a white ale? I love IPAs and barleywines but I understand that whites aren't supposed to be hoppy. Instead, the orange, coriander and lemon are the "spice" of Hoegaarden.

Drinkability is dangerous, because you can pound these for hours and get wasted- and fat- quite easily.

Hoegaarden is one of my top five favorites. Cannot stop singing it's praises.

Photo of BierFan
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a pint glass.

Nice white head sits on top of pale yellow body that is cloudy from the yeast. Almost no carbonation. Little bit of lemon in the aroma. More tame lemons in the taste. Juicey with a little bit of sourness. Pretty bland compared to other witbiers.

Photo of KBoudreau66
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. It is a cloudy cream color, with a small frothy white head that lasts throughout. A lot of carbonation in the glass.

Doesn't really have any smells that stand out strongly. I can smell the coriander, and a little bit of of a citrusy lemon and/or orange aroma.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated and somewhat rough, but pleasant. Has a sweet citrusy twang. I can detect the yeast and wheat in the flavor. Finishes chewy and a bit dry.

This is a very good witbier, and is extremely drinkable. I know that a lot of people would disagree with me, but I don't really think that this is far superior to Blue Moon. It's certainly better, but it doesn't blow it out of the water. I personally feel that they are both exactly what I am looking for when I drink a witbier, light, crisp and refreshing. Exactly what I want when I take a rare break from my usual IPA's and DIPA's.

Photo of mongee
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: cloudy pale yellow due to the yeast. If you've had starfruit juice, it's pretty much the same exact color. Poured about a half inch of creamy white head...some retention and lacing.

Smell: zesty orange/coriander. You can really smell the spices in this beer.

Taste: Follows the nose; a bit spicy/sour at first, but ends with a nice light, lingering wheat flavor. A well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, highly carbonated... maybe too much? or maybe the carbonation feels like its too much since I burned my mouth eating fresh pizza. Leaves your mouth with a nice creamy feeling

Drinkability: Easily a session beer. I prefer its German relative hefeweizens over the Belgian wheat beer, but still a good beer

Photo of czfreeman
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was suprised I have never reviewed this classic.
Pours out a hazy, great Wit-bier murky glass of white peach accented grapefruit juice. Hazy wheaty proteins leave little for want in the appearance.
Aroma- In a wor, Balance. Orange accents clove, accenting yeasts, adding to the coriander. Nothing out-of-the ordinary, but overall a well constructed balance.
Flavor replicated the nose. Tart, orange coriander upfront, finishes light and slightly creamy. Again, nothing outstanding, but a great session beer...
Which brings me to drinkablility. This beer is so light, delicate, balanced and so light in ABV it is gone before you know it. This makes a great brew in-between tastings, or perfect on a summer afternoon. I introduce this one to Bud-drinking friends, and there hooked.An eye-opener if your inexperienced with Witbier, or one to sit back with eyes closed and a contented sigh if you are. Solid standard worth drinking if you haven't.

Photo of Strand
1.78/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I do not like orange flavored beers.

I do not like orange flavored beers.

I do not like orange flavored beers.

One of these days I'll remember that BEFORE I buy an orange flavored beer.

I've had Hoegaarden a few times, and everytime I have one, I really struggle to finish it. And I don't know anyone that particularly likes it either. This is the beer that, when someone in my group of friends brings in a beer that turns out to taste awful, somebody says "yeah this is bad, but do you remember that Hoegaarden?" Maybe I'm not the cloudy orange flavored wheat beer type, but I'm giving it two thumbs down.

Photo of bsend
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an 11.2 oz bottle into a hexagonal Hoegaarden glass.

The beer pours an strange yet mysterious light yellow. Its cloudy and scatter light when held to it. The beer pours a slight half inch, bubbly head.

The beer has a spicy, citrus smell to it. Brewed with corriander, and orange this beer provides a zesty mix, and hearty example of a witbier.

The beer mixes spice and citrus well. Garnished with a wedge of lemon/orange provides an additional flavor that seems to awaken all of the dormant citrus character.

The mouthfeel is nothing impressive, but it does manage to move well in the mouth.

The beer has an easy level of drinkability to it. It can easily be enjoye, and provides an excellent stepping stone into the consumption of witbiers.

Final Thought - Definitely a popular brew that deserves a look. Great flavor, and easy accesibility means more people should give this a shot.

Photo of fullsweep
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into a glass.

Smell is unusual (although this was my first witbier), with some slightly sour notes and some sweet grainy aroma as well.

Thick white head sits atop a very cloudy, very pale shade of beer, similar in color to the non-alcoholic beverage, ginger beer.

Taste is pleasant--a sweet/sour (only slightly) flavor, with mild hints of grapefruit bouncing off the grains.

Very nice.

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An anemic, sickly yellow that is just about as pale as any beer will ever be, the bottom section appears just like squeezed lemon juice. The haze (which is to be expected for the style) blurs transparency but doesn't obstruct all clarity. The head is generally bound and in abundance but this particular sample leaves a bare center and less than thorough lace.

The smell is of a zingy, zesty orange peel with crisp straw, grass and hay to back it. This sour lemon scent is a far departure from the sweet, sometimes caramelized malts of your typical ale. This has a peppery spice (or more accurately, coriander spice) and a tangy, acidic, fruity persona that typifies the witbier. This isn't the best smelling example I've come across but it's a safe bet that if you don't like the smell of this you probably won't like the style as a whole.

The taste is quite dry and very upfront with the things it should be upfront about: stale coriander and dried orange peel that combine for a spicy, zesty, zingy taste. The predominance of wheat rather than barley is quite a contrast. If you've never tried a witbier before be prepared for something different. I find Hoegaarden fairly tasty (especially for a macro offering) but I can think of a number of others I'd favour having in place of it.

Hoegaarden was the first beer witbier launched to market since before the Great War. Considering it reintroduced the style and succeeded in reinstating witbier's rightful place in Belgium's beer culture. Eventually, it would inspire a generation of ambitious craft brewers from all over the world and turn an entire generation onto this zesty, fruitier wheat based style of beer. For all this it deserves full credit.

That being said, this itself isn't the beer it used to be since being bought out and commercialized by giant mega-conglomerate InBev. I won't take away from what InterBrew has done to pry the witbier style into mainstream beer culture but just as much praise (if not more) is due to the man actually from the town of Hoegaarden, the man originally responsible for the recipe: Pierre Celis. If you like this beer than do yourself a favour, take the next step, read up on and seek out the St. Bernardus Pierre Celis Signature Witbier.

Photo of ElHefeweizen
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A) Pale off yellow color that pours to a small head, lacing nearly non-existant.

S) Strong hints of lemon and orange, smells good.

T) Much like the smell, finishes with a certain spice feel.

M) I found it a bit watery with no exeptional traits.

D) Not the best Wit around but they are good. Refreshing anytime of the year.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have had this also from a bottle. But this review is from the tap. One of my favorite Wits.
A nice cloudy straw color, with great citrus scents. I refuse a lemon with this, its not needed. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Can drink plenty of these at a session. This is what a Wit should be. Clean and smooth to drink with a great wheaty/citrus kick. Perfect summer beer.

Photo of TheHammer
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Came in a nice, Hoegaarden glass that I'd consider buying myself and a slice of orange. Odd cloudy pale yellow/white color that almost made it look like a smoothie. Has a good inch of head that both laced and sustained well. I think a bit of cloud is suppose to be normal for this style, but I don't think that much. That's really my only complaint.

Smell - Citrus like with Lemon and Orange smell, mixed with banana, coriander and hints of wheat in the background. It smells inviting but it is a little bit too subdued. Still, for the most part it is pleasant.

Taste - Starts with a citrus like, unsurprisingly but light and doesn't get carried away with it. Then turns into a wheaty beer with traces of sweet barley. Finishes off with a slight spice of coriander and a smooth refreshing taste that does not linger. A bit on the sweet side, but not overdone.

Mouthfeel - Aftertaste is practically non existent. Not very carbonated but that is good considering how sweet it is. Head sustains very well, and is quite smooth. My only problem with it is near the bottom of the glass, I seem to be getting an unappealing grainy/citrus fruit pulp.

Drinkability - It goes down smoothly and is light on the stomach. However this beer is a bit sweet and off the beaten path. This beer doesn't really go well with food, nor does is it something I could drink all night at anything but a coco cabana. It's a nice change of pace for sure though, and is good for the summer or if you only want one beer.

Final Thoughts - As my first Witbier, I was impressed. Yes the flavor is a bit strange, but I enjoyed it up till the very end (when I got a mouthful of pulp). Frankly, I'm shocked that this beer comes from Belgium, as I'd expect it to come from a tropical location given the flavor. I'd get it again on tap if I wanted something weird or something fruity to cool me down in the summer, but I wouldn't buy a case of it though.

Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a hazy, dirty looking straw color. It poured with a long lived, frothy white head.

s: All the usual suspects, wheaty banana, coriander, and some citrus zest.

t: Mirrors the smell in a very well balanced, approachable way.

m: Crisp, slightly creamy, and refreshing.

d: Not my favorite wit, but I do like this quite a bit.

Photo of KI9A
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy straw, big white head, OK retention, a little lace sheeting.

S: Wheat, citrus.

T: ALOT of citrus, obvious orange, some lemon, and lime. Corrinder, a little clove.

M: CLean, very refreshing, as are most Wits. Some sourness hangs around, like lemonade-ish.

D: Figured I'd try the "original" Belgian Wit, from 1445. Even though it is technically a macro ( ABInbev ). Decent enough, will most likely pick up a 6er to have around, but, with so many other decent Wits around...who knows.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow color with a very white head.

Aroma is spicy with corriander, clove, lemon and light wheaty malts.

Taste was dry with the same notes described in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Good beer but not my favorite style.

Photo of Vengeance526
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, mildly cloudy golden straw color with a thick 2 finger white head and a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma of citrus and spice with a hint of wheat also evident in the back.

Taste starts out with some cloves and coriander and soon turns into a light lemony sweetness. Some wheat shows up in the aftertaste.

Not incredibly complex, but fairly smooth, very refreshing and a great thirst quencher. Looks like this would be easy to enjoy a few of on a hot day.

Photo of hmf05
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Hazy, light yellow color to it. It had a decent head when poured into my Duvel Tulip Glass.

Smell - I get a decent amount of clove with some lemon zest.

Taste - I taste the cloves and the hints of lemon. In my opinion, this is an extremely light tasting wit.

Mouth Feel- Decent carbonation with a watery feel. It is a little too watery for me.

Drinkability - This is extremely drinkable. One could easily throw back a bunch of these

To me, it is too watery. The cloves are the best part of the beer. This isn't my favorite wit, but it is definitely worth a try

Photo of praufs01
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Slightly hazy bright yellow brew with a large fluffy white head.

Aroma - Tart lemon with some banana and coriander in the background.

Mouthfeel - Moderate amount of fizzy carbonation. Smooth and silky on the palate.

Taste - lemon and clove with a slightly sweet floral aftertaste.

Overall - Good witbier. A benchmark for all others.

Photo of callmescraps
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A blast from the past.

Appearance - Actually straw colored. In the way that straw has some almost greenish characteristics. Not much head on this one. Very pleasant lacing.

Smell - An explosion. Tons of spice going on. Some funky yeast action, but mostly a floral spice with a hint of candy. Just a ton going on. Very Belgian for sure.

Taste - Tart citrus. Almost lemon. Then some real funk. Lots of those spice notes as well. Pretty sweet overall. Almost like cloves, sort of peppery as well. Pretty well balanced, but missing a little something.

Mouthfeel - Very nice carbonation. Very crisp and smooth. I love the way this dances on my tongue.

Drinkability - A little sweet to have too many. One is just enough, thanks.

This was one of those eye-opening beers back in high school. It was probably the first bev that made me realize there was a whole world of potential out there. That said, I can't imagine how I used to down sixers of this.

Photo of Wisconsin
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful pale yellow body with little carbonation. The head is thick, two inches about, white and fluffy. The head fades to a nice lace minutes after being poured.

S - Wheat, citrus zest with a nice smell of coriander and bubble gum (something sweet.)

T - This is the beer is almost like a hefewiezen if you ask me. The coriander, zesty sweetness, which I believe is orange and a nice wheat finish.

M - Zesty, coriander with a nice hint of orange that fades to a pretty smooth wheat finish.

D - This is a real smooth beer with good flavor. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Pours a very light and cloudy lemon yellow color with a two-finger head of white foam. Looks like a glass of Country Time with a head on it.

S: Smells zesty and peppery with sweet lemon-citrus aromas leaping out of it.

T: Taste is sweet and mild at first before turning mildly fruity, acidic and spicy. There's kind of a solvent flavor to this witbier, and it's balance of zesty hop with mild malts makes it decidedly Belgian to me. The grandfather of all witbiers.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a sharp and aggressive hop spiciness.

D: With a modest ABV and a formula tested by time, Hoegaarden is considered to be the ultimate Belgian wit. That said, I do find some American versions to be a bit more palatable and complex, boasted heartier malts and smoother balances of spiciness.

Wish I had my hexagonal glass with me for this one. Hoegaarden is a great witbier and a must have for the wit-purist. It's not my all time favorite white, but it's a classic.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful yellow/blonde colored, hazy, translucent body. Decent head with decent lace.

S- Like sticking my nose into potpourrie, or a bouquet of flowers. Very Belgian smelling with candy-like malt and funky yeast notes

T- Taste is very light and balanced with spices and mellow hops balancing out the sugary sweet malt flavors

M- Light and sparkly

D- Quenches thirst and goes well with poultry and fish

Photo of Reagan1984
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple glasses last night. Traditionally this is a style that I would not enjoy. Over the past year I've learned top enjoy the light, spicy nature and the yeast like flavor... (at least I perceive it that way)

The beer was served in the classic Hoegaarden glass. No head at all... Cloudy light yellow in color.. with no lacing at all. Beer was too cloudy to detect visible carbonation.

Aroma was of clove, lemon, a bit earthy.. yeast like and some light fruit.

Flavor was coriander, light citrus..(lemon) slight white pepper, subtle sweetness and other fruits.. slight earthy/sour flavor from the yeast... obviously a Belgian flavor comes from the yeast used. I can see why this is popular in the summer. Of course, I'm drinking it on a January night.. Quite crisp and refreshing. Slightly tart/sour... but not too much...

Mouth feel is decidedly light bodied and delicate. Total summer session beer.

Very drinkable... I turned down the slice of fruit... Ugh...

I certainly appreciate this more now than I would have a year plus ago..

Not too bad.... Still not a favorite of mine.

Photo of ruckus232
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 Ounce brown bottle

Appearance: Cloudy pale yellow color with a good amount of frothy head

Smell: Fruity, more specifically lemon, with a hint of spice

Taste: Pleasantly sweet taste with little bitterness. Not as strong of a spice taste as is present in some whites but just enough to taste really good.

Comments: Very good tasting beer that is not too strong with the spices and is very smooth to drink.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I read the read the beer list wrong, or it was typed wrong, but I was expecting a thick cloudy wheat beer. Instead I was surprised by a bright yellow semi-cloudy beer put in front of me.

The head was thick and kept its presence throughout.

I did not expect the tart and slight sourness of lemon, but despite how unexpected it was, I was pleasantly surprised. I could also detect a hint of nutmeg as well.

It was smooth as I expected, and was quite drinkable. I might not have it again, but I recommend you try it.

Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
85 out of 100 based on 4,485 ratings.