Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
1,430 Reviews
THE BROS
78
okay
Read the review
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj
Czech Republic | website

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 09-10-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,430
Ratings:
3,617
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
15.98%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
629
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,430 | Ratings: 3,617
Reviews by Givemebeer:
Photo of Givemebeer
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking this on tap compared to from the bottle is a complete different experience.

On tap, I give this a 4 for its wonderful grassy grainy but highly drinkable nature.

I haven't drank it from the bottle too recently but its not nearly as good and I wouldn't bother buying the bottles anymore. Maybe its too tough to get fresh or the dreaded green bottles.

 359 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

 899 characters

Photo of pb9613
4.79/5  rDev +32%
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.

 434 characters

Photo of Carrier4
4.26/5  rDev +17.4%
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!

 354 characters

Photo of HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +37.7%
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.

 637 characters

Photo of vinnicheers
5/5  rDev +37.7%

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..

 171 characters

Photo of MedaryvilleEscapee
4.43/5  rDev +22%
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.

 199 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.59/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

 514 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 714 characters

Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see why this beer has such a great reputation. This is a very nice, tasty pilsner. Some would even say it is the quintessential pilsner. Nice grainy malt profile, with a crisp finish from the hops. Not too dry, not too sweet. Very refreshing and drinkable.

Would drink again: Yes
Would purchase again: Yes

 308 characters

Photo of briansnat
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've never been a big fan of this beer, even though it was the original pilsner. It was always very raisiny and a tad skunky. As I understand it, the brewery now ships it refrigerated to the US and ditched the green bottles. My uncle, who drank PU at the actual brewery, often said that what we drink here tastes nothing like the beer fresh from the brewery.

I poured this out of a 16 oz can. Color was what to expect from a pilsner, a nice golden hue. Head didn't last real long, but that might be an issue of the glass I used. Overall a very nice, crisp pilsner with a pleasant hop backbone. THIS is the beer that once was considered to be one of the best beers in the world by Michael Jackson. If you've been drinking the stuff out of the green bottles, definitely revisit this beer. It is a real winner.

 810 characters

Photo of illpass78
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a (duh) pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear straw with a two-finger white head. Classic pilsner presentation.

Aroma: A little grass, a little toast. Clean and a little prickly.

Taste: Follows the nose. Grass is pretty forward.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing.

Overall: Hey, it's a classic. Always have time for one of these. Why do people drink Euro crud like Stella and Heineken when this is nearly as widely available and way better for the same price?

 492 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.54/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Rated for/within this style.
LOOK: Crystal clear, light amber, small bubbles streaming up the glass. Pours a quickly receding white head. Slight lacing down the glass.
AROMA: The hops stand out to me and I would describe them as grassy and very corn husk-like. I can see why some say 'skunky'. I'd prefer to say, robust aroma for a lager.
TASTE: Grassy, corn husk, peppery.
MOUTHFEEL: Dryness at the very end, pretty nice smooth, nice carbonation helps bring out the flavor.
OVERALL: This would be a beer to give to a BMC fan for that first step to bigger flavors. VERY refreshing brew.

 586 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer to which I compare all other Bohemian Pilsners. This beer looks a solid straw color that displays high carbonation and a sparkling white head that lingers decently and leaves lacing on the glass. Smells mildly malty and hoppy. The noble hops give this beer that 'almost' sunk-kissed aroma. Tastes of firm pilsner malt, slightly quite vegetable (tomato skin?) like and a bit grainy. Hopped for bittering, flavoring, and aromatics; but kept well in balance. Medium body for style, remains firm. Bittering becomes more prevailant into the finish. Finishes a bit creamy and dry, problably from carbonation. A very solid beer

 629 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

(Note: This is one of the new canned versions. If this were the bottle, it would be much lower, sadly)

Ah, the original pale lager. For years it's languished away in green bottles, but now it's available in 16oz cans. I've enjoyed in on tap for some time, but have avoided those green bottles like the plague. The only time I've had it in one, it was pretty much a Heineken clone.
Pours a wonderful golden color. Not too light or greenish - just liquid gold.
Smell is of floral noble hops, grain, and lager yeast. No off smells at all, which for an imported pils isn't something you encounter every day.
Taste starts off sweet and creamy, and finishes with floral hops. Not too bitter, actually, just a nice flavor. Some other Czech brews (and German ones, too) have a hoppier bite - but this one is shockingly balanced and goes down almost too easy.
It's creamy and thick, but still makes for a great all-year beer.
Scrap the green bottles - these new cans provide a fresh taste that I really enjoy. Up there with Bitburger as far as imported pils goes.

 1,056 characters

Photo of Premo88
4.79/5  rDev +32%
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)

 1,495 characters

Photo of DanielCseklye
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, dry finish. Appropriate choice when you want a good attendant for eating pizza of another trash food during a chillout session after a difficult week. I like it, good pilsner.

 181 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

 1,436 characters

Photo of TongoRad
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

 368 characters

Photo of oberon
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice straw color with a nice wellretained head (looks great in a pilsner glass), high carbonation.Aroma in light and a little iron-like with some sofy bread notes.Some rather sharp hop notes in the finish of this beer it starts out a little malty sweet,a very crip and easy drinking beer.Real nice on tap as well.

 321 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of t2grogan
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
82 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe