Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

BA SCORE
82
good
3,816 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay
Read the review
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj
Czech Republic
prazdrojvisit.cz

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
Ratings:
3,816
Reviews:
1,483
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
15.93%
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
736
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,816 |  Reviews: 1,483
Reviews by emsroth:
Photo of emsroth
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint can, we'll see if it aided in the flavor protection

App: Super frothy head, but it dies quickly. Light gold color, the slightly darker color I associate with the czech pilseners.

Smell: A touch of sweet honey followed by a strong bite of floral hops. perhaps a touch of herb, but mostly floral, perhaps clover.

Taste: Biting up front with strong, bitter hops and little malt character. The flavor of this beer is in the finish: smooth husky malt with touches of caramel. A faint white grape skin is noticeable in the finish. The hop flavor is slightly metallic but mostly indistinguishable and just presents itself as bitter.

Medium body from the strong carbonation that ends watery, but it has a nice creamy mouthfeel. Odd that it can be both.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
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 RoyalT
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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 pb9613
4.79/5  rDev +31.6%
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 Carrier4
4.26/5  rDev +17%
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 HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +37.4%
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 Premo88
4.79/5  rDev +31.6%
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 vinnicheers
5/5  rDev +37.4%

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 MedaryvilleEscapee
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
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 DaftCaskBC
4.59/5  rDev +26.1%
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 Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
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 Nickwierda
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
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 ericbridenbaker
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
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 dribblespit
4.54/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't know what Pilsner was until I met Urquell.

Long boring story about me in Germany at 17:

When I got to Germany, they sent us to a reception center (Barracks) (Army). Luck was in my favor because at the time, there was a real incentive to drink lots of bier in the Army. No min age requirement to roast your liver in alcohol.

The reception center had a bar downstairs, very convenient.

Not knowing jack about beer, except for the BMC I was able to get at the back door, back home.

I ordered a Pils. This is what they served me. Pilsner Urquell. Opening up my Pie Hole, I poured the Urquell in like it was the last Bier on Earth.

Taste: Pilsner
Smell: Pilsner
Look: Pilsner
Overall: I didn't know what Pilsner was until I met Urquell.

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Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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

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Photo of briansnat
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
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 dd43
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
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 drmeto
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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 illpass78
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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?

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Photo of SFACRKnight
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Benchmark for the Czech pils style. Pours a beautiful gold, white head retreats to a thin white layer of bubbles. Nose is pilsner malt and spicy saaz hops. Clean fermentation, no esters, no diacetyl, no dms. Slighty sweet pils malt balanced with hop bitterness, neither overwhelms, but both are present. Finish is spicy hops and slight mineral after taste. Reminds me of seltzer water in a way. This is one of my favorite pilsners, enjoyable after a shitty day of work or a great day of hiking.

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Photo of matcris
4.58/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Rated for/within this style.
LOOK: Crystal clear, golden, 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. A little toasted bread. Nice, full, robust aroma for a lager.
TASTE: Toast, Grassy, corn husk, peppery.
MOUTH FEEL: Dryness at the very end, 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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
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

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Photo of Domingo
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of mjurney
4.94/5  rDev +35.7%
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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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,816 ratings.
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