Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj
Czech Republic

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

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Reviews: 1,451 | Ratings: 3,709
Photo of animal
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A true classic. What is to be expected from the original pilsner. The perfect combination of taste, smell, drinkability, appearance, and mouthfeel. This is truly the standard by which all pilsner- style beers are, or at least ought to be measured! Cheers!!

 256 characters

Photo of appenzeller
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the gold standard. Literally. My favorite everyday beer. But Pilsner Urquell is the farthest thing from pedestrian. In its proper state and freshness, it is sublime. One of the worlds great beers, and the standard against which all other pilsners are measured.

You will see talk about how this beer has changed, and is not what it once was. True, the brewery has upped production and changed equipment. But the talk of change or decline is overblown. This is essentially the same liquid gold that I first quaffed serendipitously in Prague back in 1990. Do what you can to find as fresh a sample as possible. Vacation to the Czech Republic. Find a good keg at a local pub. Or take care to buy an unadulterated, fresh as possible set of bottles.

"That about which one cannot speak, one must remain silent." (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

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Photo of Hobbz
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The place: SOLIDNÍ NEJISTOTA -- "Solid Uncertainty," downtown Prague. What wasn't at all uncertain was the tremendous PU served there...

Had a few drinks before noticing the PU on tap. After confirming that it was available on tap, the server proceeded to take our next round of orders. Before he even set the drinks on our table, I could smell the fresh Zatec (Saaz) aroma from my glass a distance away -- literally, no joking! I must have looked a nut with my arms around the glass a full two minutes or so before even indulging (Saaz of this caliber are an aphrodisiac for me). And the fresh wondrous taste. Beer Nirvana. Hence my first ever "5.0" review.

Golden, crystal clear color with density of thick foam atop the .5 liter, hefty serving glass. Smelled like it was just released from the factory with full, intense bouquet. Balanced, wet taste of perfect blending of subtle ingredients -- from the delicate malt and water to the bittering & finishing noble hops.

By any standards (esp. downtown Prague), this place is NOT an "institution" -- it is a modern, snazzy, popish restaurant-turned club-atmosphere outing after 9 pm. But the food and fun are a good time (reserve). But, this is not a "Beerfly" review, so over & out. Just happy to know there are still places to experience how uniquely luscious PU can be.

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Photo of horseblanket
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the most perfect beers ever made in the world.

Alas, its never as good in the bottle as it is
right at the brewery.

If you're buying this beer in the bottle, get it from
an unopened case, and never expose it to any light
(or as little as possible).

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Photo of Rm90
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Has a great pour and great color. It's the perfect pilsner. Comes with a strong taste of hops and alcohol that many beers do not. Beat served between cold and room temp. Even better on tap especially if able to have in the Czech republic where it's made. You won't find a better pilsner around.

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Photo of AshleyKing
5/5  rDev +37.4%

On tap, cold, on the pint glass, this is the essential pilsner style: clean, crisp, golden, with hints of the herbal Saaz. There are only a few beers that come close, like the Budejovicky. That they maintained this high standard through the communist years is a miracle, showing the love of Czech craftsmanship. In the bottle, it does not match the tap, as so many beers.

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Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is THE pilsner beer. No other, or almost no other beer should be called that. Great deep golden colour, with orange reflection when you put it to the light. Nice head with lot of bubbles, though it fades quickly, but leaving a great lace. Hoppy aroma of herbs, and hay, with a delicate spicy touch and even some fruity hints. In mouth is round, perfectly clean, bitter, probably the most bitter pilsner I've ever had, but with a delicate and silky flavor and smoked notes. Malt is more noticed than in the smell. Dry finish, very refreshing and appetizer. Perfect.

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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.

 637 characters

Photo of richardl
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, the grand daddy of all Pilsners. As far as any mass produced beer goes, there is no competition.
Best served locally in the Czech Republic, where they know how to pour it for maximum taste and aroma.
Caramel and saaz and tigers, Oh My!

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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 Fengzi
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

PLZEN.... Saaz enough really to me but to the gut of it all... This is a great mild hoppy beer thats refreshing enough to drink all year-round... I absolutely love the look, smell, taste, and feel of this beer. I had the fortunate opportunity to PLZEN while working in a small town just outside of Praha (Prague) named Pardubice. The town loves it's beer and on discovery learned every pub in town carried storage variation from cask to nitro-all. Of course I was sold right away but was most delighted when it was paired with an unusual combination of beer cheese, mustard and fatty pork on top of a nice local bread. Soooo fantastic was the combination that once a month I ritualistically do the same here in the States to bring back that feel; that moment in time that I had in CZECH. On top of it all I had the great fortune to drop the work and travel to PLZEN and partake of the town that I feel hops was created... :) My twist of course, but if you were there immersion into this ideology wouldn't be that far off...

 1,023 characters

Photo of sudz42
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I originally drank this in the Czech Republic, served as a 22 oz. bottle in the morning on a breakfast tray with eggs, toast, jam, from the mother of the friends I was staying with. I hadn't drank it for about 15 years until recently (in Maine) and it's become my go-to, macro-replacement beer of choice at $14/12 pack. It's a bit bready, Salzy in the German style, and it's light; a good combination. It goes down very easy.

I have to give Urquell high marks, as for its features and price nothing comes close that is readily available.

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Photo of Pahn
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pilsner Urquell at Veselka in the east village

At this point im surprised to say that pilsner urquell fresh on tap is my favorite beer.

Crystal clear gold, big frothy white head with great retention, persistent lacing.

A little bready, little bit of noble hop flavor, perfectly (very) dry, slight sourdough aftertaste if not completely clean finish, extremely bright and refreshing aroma, high side of moderate carbonation, body isn't too light. Just a perfect easy drinking beer. Without flaw

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Photo of TeamSeinfeld
5/5  rDev +37.4%

A classic in which all others of the same style can only imitate but never achieve. Got quite a liking to Pilsner when it was on sale in December for a month at 10.99 a 12er, now its 13.99 and I can't justify spending that much but wish I could. I really like the saaz hop spice.

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Photo of jesseejames
4.98/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

original pilsner urquell at the brewery in the cellar after the tour i do not really like bottled pilsner urquell the beer there comes out of a huge wooden keg and is brewed for brewery visitors only using the original brewing methods it is wonderful with a rich wonderful aroma

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Photo of billybob
4.97/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours clear golden color half inch head with no lacing to speak of. musty slighty fruity hoppy spice smell. big spice hop pepper taste. clean crisp meduim mouthfeel and good carbonation. nice pilsner beer, very easy to drink definitely buy it. its on my list.

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Photo of tomrom
4.96/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What else can be said about Pilsner Urquell? The original, and still the best. From the smoothness, to the nutty undertones, to the bitter aftertaste. One of the best beers available. Other pilsners lack the all-around quality. This beer is a gem, by all standards.

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Photo of ArchaeoFiero_TheDelorean
4.94/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My ratings are based on how Pilsner Urquell ranks amongst others of its style.

A beautiful Pilsner lager that I was turned on to by Jackson's fantastic old "Beer Hunter" series. There is just nothing like Pilsner Urquell, and it is amazing that this beer even still exists. It's open fermented in untreated wooden barrels, and then conditioned in pitch-lined wooden barrels. Although of a modern style, this is a truly ancient beer-making recipe that dates to the mid-1800's. Pilsner Urquell translates to "the original Pilsner lager, from the source".

What sets it apart from other Pilsners are the complex hoppy characters and beautiful finish. For a long time, I believed that I just didn't like the Pilsner style, until I found PU. The mass produced alternatives are pale imitations that borrow a characteristic or two from PU, but fail to reach the complexity of their master.

The flavor is peppery and bitter (for a pale lager) with a fine, crisp yeast profile. It pours with the thick head that the Czech's are so proud of in their beers. It's well carbonated and crisp drinking (not too thin or thick) with a touch of cream or silk in the mouth-feel.

I'm happy that my first review is of one of my favorite beers, which wholeheartedly deserves a beer lover's praise. This drink should be UNESCO protected, and it clearly defines the style.

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Photo of mjurney
4.94/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Sweet pale malts, grassy, spicy, very crisp.

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 RBorsato
4.92/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear light gold color with a nice off-white head and moderate carbonation. Nice earthy Saaz hop aroma and flavor. Nice balanced Czech Pils -- A standard to judge all others. Very hoppy with a solid grain-malt backing. Medium bodied and smooth with a crisp dry earthy hop finish.

Per Label: "1842 - World's first golden beer"

($13.99 / 12-pack)

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Photo of shbobdb
4.91/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh man, I'd forgotten about this gem. That's not true, who could forget the world's first pilsner? Man, this is one good beer. Sure, it has that run-of-the-mill burnt penny colour than any Pilsner worth its salt has, but the taste. Yummy. It's really pretty freakin' amazing. It has the traditional hop/sulfur aroma with an amazing malty flavour. Definately a product of decoction mashing. Wow, this is a BEER. We need more beers like this one. Yeah.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.9/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Coming back to this beer on tap after having it in the bottles and can (Actually my favorite way to drink this beer) for years. No matter what, no light lager stacks up to the original. Maybe marketing and aura has gotten to my head, or maybe it's the homebrewing, but there is so much flavor packed into this beer. With the malt, the triple decoction adds a perfect sweetness to the flavor profile while turning it a beautiful golden hue. You can tell the difference immediately in pils beers if it's decocted or not in the malt presence and the darker color. It smells of floral saaz hops that are spicy and perfect in IBU's. They go very well together in the flavor of the beer and the yeast character is subtle at best. The triple decoction adds dextrin-feel to the mouthfeel, but no matter what, it's a light lager, but it BLOWS the competition away. I'll order this anytime I see it and the selection sucks, because this beer turned me on to better things, and now that I've brewed my own and realize how much goes into creating this beer perfectly, I respect it that much more.

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Photo of joshgambit
4.9/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden, coppery color. Good head from the tap. Decent lacing.

S: Grassy, hoppy. Toasted malt coming through also.

T: CLASSIC pilsner taste. On tap, this is one of the best pilsners I've ever had. Very nice malt character, slightly grainy, with excellent Saaz hops coming thorugh.

M: Tight, bright carbonation. Crisp finish, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. One of my favorites when it's on tap.

Bottled isn't as good, but I love this one on tap.

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Photo of KazikliBey
4.88/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pilsner Urquell may have a loyal following indeed, I'm a Pilsner Urquell loyalist.

The first bottle was love at first taste. It's the real McCoy, nothing like Canadian and US Pilsners. It's a perfect balance in all aspects. An absolute masterpiece.

In all honesty, however, it has been my experience that a significant portion of the average beer drinking US population doesn't share my enthusiasm for this particular brew. Was it Michael Jackson who said post-Prohibition Americans want a beer that is basically water with a head? Can't recall, but this one may be a bit strong tasting and thick on the mouth for some. It is that according to the feedback I've received from those who didn't care for it.

Nevertheless, for this beer-lover Pilsner Urquell the absolute favorite by a long shot.

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Photo of drpimento
4.88/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice burnished yellow with a fine off white head and plenty of lace. Good hoppy malty aroma. Flavor has plenty of grainy malty slightly sweet flavore that balanced with a generous bitterness. Decent carbonation and finish. Great session beer. Very clean. Can't really say too many other pilsners can exceed this one.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,709 ratings.
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