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Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell
BA SCORE
3.6/5
Good
4,100 Ratings
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj
Czech Republic
prazdrojvisit.cz

Style: Bohemian Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
While most lagers give away most of their taste profile in the front of the mouth, Pilsner Urquell only hints at its flavour there. Instead, it develops in the middle, followed by a refreshing, clean finish and balanced aftertaste, practically inviting you to have another.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#36,897
Reviews:
1,559
Ratings:
4,100
pDev:
15.83%
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
906
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,100 |  Reviews: 1,559
Reviews by DoctorStrangiato:
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 330-ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - brilliant yellow colour with extraordinarily carbonated character versus my expectation, 1/4-inch sustaining head.

Smell - very hoppy with spicy malt scents. None of the bread aromas of the canned version.

Taste - malty and grainy, there's more bitterness and a lack of balance. Still, interesting flavours although more run-of-the-mill Euro beer.

Mouthfeel - pretty carbonated, at least the bitter finish comes through clean.

Drinkability - I would pass on this version of this superb brew. Much better value to seek out the can, which does not overcarbonate and has a much better taste - for cheaper. I am shocked at the variance between the 2 formats.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw colored with brilliant clarity and a persistent, low white head of cream bubbles.

S: A moderate grainy pils malt aroma and a light spicy noble hop aroma dominate the aroma. There is a very slight metalic aroma in the background. There is also a light bready malt aroma. No diacetyl and no esters.

T: A refreshing balance grain pils malt and moderate hops bitterness with a moderately-low noble hops flavor. The balance is somewhat bitter. There is a light pils sweetness mid palate but it resolves into a dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

M: Moderately-light bodied with a moderately-high carbonation. There is no warmth and a slight creaminess.

O: This is a good beer but a great example of the style. I wish this beer was served in abundance at the NYS Fair on a sunny, warm day like today. This is about as crisp and refreshing as a beer get while still having a great taste.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.36/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The classic example of the Czech Pils. Not sure how this is in the 3.5 range when this set and continues to set the bar for this style. But what do I know?

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Photo of pb9613
4.79/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have bought this beer off and on for several decades and always wondered why it has lasted so long. The beer always had an off smell and skunky taste.

I just bought my third half liter can and can tell you this beer is amazing. I guess the long trip in the bottles was not good for the beer. If you tried this one in the past and thought it tasted off, buy it in the can and pour it into a pilsner glass. The experience is amazing.

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Photo of Purpleurkle
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the do all end all best beer of my life. I must have drank this is my past life. 400 years of history and experience in this one brewery. They invented the Pilsner for gods sake! And you can tell! Btw Budweiser, Miller, coors, Heineken, ect. are all Pilsner wannabes and they have still taken over the world. This is a beer that god himself would be proud to drink daily. Love you guys at the brewery and all the souls who made it happen. Purpleeurkle out!

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Photo of Nickwierda
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is a sluggin beer best drunk cool to cold out of a large stein. Not even close to as good out of a bottle, sorry. Not because the beer itself is worse (that argument always perplexed me) but because you really need to be able to take big swigs, preferably out of a heavier vessel that you need your entire hand to operate, to get the proper experience and let this brew truly work its magic.

What magic, you ask? The magic of transporting you to an earlier time and place, before you gave a shit about hop combinations and barrel treatments, before you'd ever woken up early to stand in line for beer, before you'd become so insufferable as to use "collab" and "ddh" in your daily speech. Way back when when, to you, beer tasted like fuckin beer and you drank it by the pintful because it was good.

Pilsner urquell is just that: a really good beer. Damn good actually. Looks like a beer, very inviting in that dimpled mug. Aroma is nothing to write home about- Pilsner, earthy, spicy saaz hops. Smells like a beer.

The taste is where this baby shines. I've had my share of American and European pilsners and lagers in general (haven't we all) and this stands out. Starts out a touch sweet, a little white bread and cracker, but then I get a minerality that I really love - not metallic, but a bit stony or flinty. Finishes with a rather sharp earthy/piney bitterness that sets it apart from other pilsners too. If I'd had this back before I knew anything about beer, I would have loved it then too.

But really, the experience is what did it for me. Late night at work, I'm starving and exhausted, i find a spot right outside of wurstbar, so I pop in for a bite and a brew. And even after I have a small taste of some singlecut hop bomb that on another day I wouldn't have hesitated to get the full pour of, I opt for a half liter of Pilsner urquell instead.
Paired it with currywurst and fries. Hit. The. Spot. Sometimes I forget how well a pint of a good lighter, flavorful pils can do that.

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Photo of MedaryvilleEscapee
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Should be rated higher than it is. Clean yet earthy taste, with a buttery note at the end. Fantastic with New Mexican food and chiles. Very complex for its style. The original is still the best.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely fresh, this keg was brought directly from the brewery by master brewer Vaclav Berka. Enjoyed at Smith Commons in D.C. for the Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer Competition. Thanks to afdempse for bringing me along as his guest.

Served in a Pilsner Urquell pils glass. The beer is crystal clear, light golden in color, and effervescent. An inch of thick, white head perches atop the beer for several minutes. As the head gradually recedes, a cascade of lacing gently slides down the glass. A picturesque appearance made for a photograph or advertisement.

Here's where I was stunned. The aroma emitted absolutely no skunked or off flavors, as is often the case with Pilsner Urquell, especially when served from a green bottle. I truly wish breweries would cease using green bottles. As the beer warmed a bit, the aroma grew in strength. Mouth watering scents of pils malt, bread, and grain.

An awesome flavor. Bread, yeast, grain. Chuggable. Complex and wonderful, yet light and simple. I am shocked by the deliciousness, as I never suspected Pilsner Urquell could achieve this level of quality.

Perfect carbonation level. Smooth on the palate. I had four glasses of this before the kegs ran out, which was a sad moment.

Overall, a markedly different experience than I have ever had with Pilsner Urquell. If you ever have the opportunity to try this beer when it's really fresh, it is certainly worth your time and effort.

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Photo of RandyCongdon
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this one as part of my last Total Wine haul.

Look- Amazing. Gold body, crystal clear. Thick, foamy white head. If I were to choose what a prototypical lager would look like, it would be this one.

Smell- Malt, crackers, and a hint of musk.

Taste- Very malty, cracker carries over a bit, too. Medium bitterness due to hops. This is a little more peppery than most lagers I have tried.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, especially on the swallow. Good amount of carbonation tickles the tongue. There is a lingering hoppy bitterness on the top of the tongue. Medium body, very filling.

Overall- There is a lot of character here. It is not boring like many American lagers. The history is very cool. I would try it again, especially with pizza. I could probably only have one because of how filling this beer is. I would try it on tap in a heartbeat if available.

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Photo of Carrier4
4.26/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

its sad how in a world dominated by cheap pilsners and American lagers we cant have beer like this more often. I feel as if the pilsner market has not been taken over by the craft companies for we live in IPA world. This beer makes the soul happy, and is so refreshing. The original, the best pilsner, Pilsner Urquell. And I don't even like pilsners!

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Photo of vinnicheers
5/5  rDev +38.9%

i have this on tap in my pub, this is one of my favorite beer in the world, i love the Saaz hops from Bohemian and Moravia regions, this is a beer i can drink everyday..

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a clear but heavy orange in color with a good, strong, stubborn white head.

Smell – The hops are light and delicate and mate well with the smallest of grain influence. The nose here is well-balanced and nicely put together.

Taste – The delicate but firm grain mixes nicely with the traditional hops. The balance is what really makes this Pils, IMHO.

Mouthfeel – This is big, I’d say a solid medium-bodied, with some light carbonation and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This really is the standard for accessible Czech Pils here in the US. It went down wonderfully. I can’t believe I’m not getting a review up on the site for this guy until Jan 2005.

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Photo of Premo88
4.79/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into pilsener
(best by Dec. 28, 2013)

L: clear gold ... surprisingly darker than I expected; even up to light it's dark enough to be gold (not pale yellow); big fat sticky head of foam, about 1 inch; clumps of the head stick to the glass, and the skin on top is amazing -- so much carbonation is rising in the column that its leaving five white spots of foam on the top layer; big collar

S: huge biscuit note mixed with grain; underneath, a thin layer of grassy hops -- but the sweet biscuit-and-grain dominates it early on; corn takes over halfway in, sweet creamed corn;

T: sweet light malt, yeast, bread, biscuits with a softer grassy bite that shows up as much in the dryness as it does in the taste -- what it amounts to is a hop presence that lingers with good grassy and spicy pepper notes

F: watery enough to drink but huge carbonation ... i'm sucking it down so fast, it might qualify as *too* drinkable. damn.

O: it's super dry in the finish but with so much sweet biscuit malt up front that it really stands out as a unique brew. i love that it's got a bit of color to it, a nice gold flair that continues a show of fast-rising bubbles.

if it had just a bit more hops in the nose and laced on the way down, i'd give it 5s across the board. as it is, it's fantastic. i'm glad i finally tried it. it's as good a beer as I've had in any style and a brew i guarantee will find its way into my fridge often.

(for posterity, it's also my 100th beer here on BA)

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.59/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fermented on oak, this benchmark beer is one of the greats. It was one of Michael Jackson's (the beer guy not the singer) all time favourite beers. I could drink this all day long.

If you don't like it, come back to this one after you've rated a few hundred beers on the site. I honestly don't think I would've liked it nearly as much when I first joined Beer Advocate and was still exploring ale styles.

All that being said, the lightstruck green bottle version does not do the tall boy can version justice.

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Photo of HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I consider this one of my benchmark beers. This is the standard to which I compare all other pilsners because it embodies everything I like about that style. It is light, clear, clean, crisp, and smooth. Just enough hops to give a bold show up front, perfectly balancing the light malt character that follows. While the skunking that will occur in any green-bottled beer exposed to light is often cited as a flaw, I actually enjoy the light skunking that usually accompanies a Pilsner Urquell (and a handful of other lagers). As a point of reference, the skunkiness seems less prominent in this beer than in a Grolsch or a Heineken.

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Photo of drmeto
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

canned version

L:
-pours a clear golden with a medium to big,foamy,white head
-medium to high carbonation visible
S:
-grainy,honey,spicy,biscuity,floral,bready,vanilla
T:
-honey,spicy,grassy,bready,burnt caramel
-medium bitterniss for the style
F:
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
O:
Probably the best Macro Pilsener in the World

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cans purchased at East Ave Wegmans in Rochester, NY. The new can packaging in the tin box is some of the coolest beer packaging I've ever seen.

This one pours a light straw yellow, with a tight one inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

It smells like a really nice pilsner- no skunky aromas like I've gotten from this in the past. I get a lot of grassiness on the nose, a little bit herbal and spicy, with some sweet lager yeast.

It's crisp, with clean grassy and Saaz hop flavor, a very slight sweetness, and some grainy malt. This is super easy to drink and very enjoyable.

This has a very crisp mouthfeel, with a good level of carbonation.

I finally really appreciate Pilsner Urquell- this is the way it should be.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pilsner Urquell brewed by Plzeňský Prazdroj,with an ABV of 4.40% This Bohemian Pilsener pours out of a 16oz can into a pint beer glass. The color is a nice golden amber color with a nice white head. There is a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with grains an malts. Then you get a nice mix of bitterness from the hops. So far Pilsner Urquell is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. You first pick up on a nice amount of grassy grains an malts. Then some nice smooth hop bitterness at the end. The body of this brew is a soild medium. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. This brew would go nice on any occasion. The mouth feel is Bold, Rich, Clean, Smooth, and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give Pilsner Urquell a solid 4 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. If you are looking for a soild Pilsener you should look this brew up. Plzeňský Prazdroj, brewery did a real nice job with this one.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It should be noted that this sample was taken from a closed case.

This is a gorgeous beer- a beautiful saturated yellow topped by a dense creamy head. Hops and malt are evident in the nose, almost a sweet grassiness. The texture hits a perfect balance between rounded and crisp. Hops linger in the finish- clean flavors all around. It's a wonderful beer when fresh.

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Photo of Riff
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden yellow, with minimal white head. Smells of malt, not much else. Taste is a little bland. Sweet malt, a little bit of a floral note, and seems a hint of butter. Lighter body. Overall, not bad, but not something I'd want to grab again.

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Photo of dd43
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

There is only one way to truly get the Urquell that you deserve, the way it was meant to be tasted: get it on draft. It is a transformative experience after having it from skunky green bottles for years. The grass and earth notes are so much more abundant. The crackery malt is so much more sharp, and the finish is even more divinely crisp and satisfying.

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Photo of mjurney
4.94/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Deep gold color, clear. Lots of fine bubble rising up. Nice frothy head that stick for a while, leaves a very nice lacing behind.

Aroma:
Sweet pale malts, grassy, spicy, very crisp.

Taste:
Starts off sweet biscuity malts, slight caramel, there some faint roasted nuts. Spicy noble hops, grassy, slight citrusy. Crisp-bitter finish. Body is full, yet very soft, crisp mouthfeel, just a little dryness in the palate.

A truly world-class beer!

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Photo of JoeK89
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Felt like I needed to give this beer some love. This is the epitome of the style in my opinion. No off scent that I get from many pilsners. Crackers, grassy, bready, crisp. Light body, but normal for the style. Incredibly easy to drink. It is a shame that less popular styles receive lower ratings. If you are getting into pilsners, give this a try.

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Photo of ericbridenbaker
4.63/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, what do you say about this one? It's the standard in Czech Pilsener (from Pilsen). The only large scale brew that I will consistently buy.

Much prefer this to Staropramen, Czechvar (the real Budweiser) etc. Though I do still need to give Golden Pheasant another chance. There may be microwbrews in Europe doing better, but have never come across it, being in Ontario.

I have become aware that Urquell does unfiltered casks/tastings at various bars in Europe, and that is on my to do before I die list. I did get to try the tank version in London, it was very similar to the export bottles/cans.

Whenever a local Ontario brewery tries this style, I bite but keep coming back to the original.

There is nothing better than pairing Urquell with a pork meal.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a clear, dark golden color with a foamy white head. Moderate retention; a thin film always remains, with some splotchy lacing.

The aroma offers fresh and dried grass, green and white pepper, honey, toasted white bread, faint skunkiness, heavy cereal grains, almost like Cheerios.

The palate offers a nice pop of honey sweetness upfront, heavy cereal grains with some toasted white bread, then a touch of lemon and apple, leading into a dried grassy finish--mildly bitter--with some dankness and a bit of skunkiness. A sly grassy, peppery bitterness resides.

Feels light, but fizzy and well-carbonated, never feels thin, always spritzy. Clear and refreshing, lightly dry, with some light lingering bitterness.

Overall...well? It's hard not to biased either for it against it, considering that this beer singlehandedly created the pilsner style. It is good for what it is. It's not my favorite pilsner in the world, it's not even my go-to, but it is good, and I respect it. You can't go wrong with it.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 4,100 ratings