Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

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

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Reviews: 1,434 | Ratings: 3,641
Photo of Zorro
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep clear gold color, like a Pilsner should.

Smells of grain malt and hops.

Tastes of dry grain and a tiny bit sweet with a nice balanced hop bite. There is a slight grassy quality.

Mouthfeel is outstanding just right.

Infinitely drinkable, not the best beer in the world, but a great Pilsner.

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Photo of Hendry
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I was a Freshman in college back in the last Century (1981), Pilsner Urquell was one of the few high quality imports that you had to look for to find (it wasn't in supermarket 12 packs until many moons passed). Better than Heineken,the OLD Beck's, the skunky Molson, PU was considered a treat, and I remember getting a case of it trying to show others in the dorm what taste was about.

Lots of Hops snobs may diss this bready,slightly skunky pilsner that is mass produced in green bottles, but it is an old school beer still worthy of respect for the style, a pilsner: in fact the only GENUINE Pilsner as they claim.

This beer does pair well with many types of food, and if you ever get a chance to drink it on tap, that is the way to go. I had this on tap in Vienna,Austria with a platter of wild boar and the flavors mixed quite well. NOTE: review based on fresh PU on tap, not the green bottles.If I had to rate the bottled version, overall the rating would be 3.9.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

BBD 2/17/15. Pours a clear light amber (golden). Very good head, lacing and retention. Mild nose of light biscuit with a touch of Saaz hop aroma and spiciness. As it warms, the hops come more forward. Light medium body with a somewhat slick oily texture. Above normal carbonation with good effervescence on the finish and also in the middle. Very well done and it allows the Saaz hops to really shine in the middle. The flavor profile is intense for a Pilsner, well balanced and has a bit of complexity. It begins with a burst of Saaz hop flavor over a light biscuit sweetness. The middle is Saaz - both in flavor and bitterness over a balanced sweetness. The finish is quite crisp, a touch dry, and leaves you with a lingering bitterness and a bit of biscuit and spice. About 30 years ago, I had this fresh on draft and it was World Class. Over the years, it has suffered in quality, but the brown bottle now helps move it towards its past greatness.

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Photo of Squire123
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Well, somebody's gotta be first.

The original Pilsner, or, close enough. Beautiful golden color, unmistakable hoppy, malty, Pilsner, flavor, the standard to which the others are compared. Some compare quite favorably, some don't, but there can be only one.

The first Pilsner I would recommend for someone who wants to try the style but only if it's fresh, which around here usually isn't the case.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear golden yellow color with a white head that turns into a thin white lace. The aroma is filled with all those flavors I have come to love in a good Czech Pilsner. There aroma contains malt, grain, hay and grassy malt. The taste is malt up front with a good dose of spicy hops in the finish. Overall, this is one of my favorite session beers, I can easily throw down many of these without getting bored. It is a very good Czech Pilsener that is recommended.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yellowy golden color with nice head that fades rather quickly
clean fresh aroma with a kinda grassy tinge to it
very smooth with strong bitterness to it and a dry finish
actually a very good enjoyable beer will have again and i do
recommend trying this one

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Photo of Murph
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden color with a decent white head on it that dissipates entirely too quickly and leaves the slightest of laces down the glass. The nose has a big Saaz and noble hop presence with a fairly spicy quality to it. The taste starts off with some initial malt sweetness to it but it eventually fades, going grassy, then slightly spicy and finally to a nice spicy finishing of Saaz hops. Extremely crisp and refreshing this brew is rather drinkable and rather refreshing.

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Photo of bushwhacker
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PU was a surprisingly colorful pour in the pale golden hue with a healthy white, aroma filled head that stayed the course of the drink. To my surprise it was a fully flavorful, malty pils; stongly hopped with so much flavor I could taste its' 'ale-like' origins. It had a flavorful mouthfeel, I assume due to the characteristic hops used in bohemian pils. The contrast to 'mass lager' attributes were greatly appreciated by this novice.

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Photo of shand
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle marked best by "APR2411" into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a very brilliant and translucent gold with about a finger of head. Retention is about average for the style.

Smell: This smells hoppy. Excellent. Very subtle, crisp, floral hops take the nose. A really great smelling beer - at least I know these bottles aren't light-struck.

Taste: A great light, bitter, and hoppy brew. It's a prime example of a pilsner and is great fresh. I took this six-pack directly from a case in my work into a brown paper bag to avoid light-striking because the light character of this beer lends itself to light striking very easily. It's a shame because this is really a delicious beer, it's light, dry, and pleasing. Hop heads looking for something more refreshing than an IPA need to look no further.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly light and carbonated, but leaves the mouth feeling just a bit dry.

Drinkability: The very low ABV make these very drinkable.

This is an awesome pilsner, just make sure you're buying fresh and dark!

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%

16oz cold can into tulip

Appearance - Golden and crystal clear, effervescent bubbles abound, big fluffy 3 finger head with good retention leaves some spotty lacing

Smell - Clean and light, biscuity malts, a bit of apple-like fruitiness, feint spicy hops in the background

Feel/Taste - Just over light body with ample scrubbing carb, smooth and light feel all around. Taste is about like aroma: light, crisp, clean flavors of biscuity malt, hints of sweet, fruity apple, and a little floral character. Hops come through mid-palate with a grassy spiciness that fades away in the finish with a mild bitterness. There are no off-notes perceptible.

Overall - This is a very good, quality beer that I enjoyed a lot, and it really deserves a higher rating. I'm sure the current rating is due to shitty packaging and freshness issues (which PU is currently working to correct). I have no complaints at all about the can I just had. This beer fits a lot of tasty Pils flavor into just 4.4% ABV!

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Photo of AirBob
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

About 1 inch of dense white head. Tons of visible carbonation. Great lacing and ok retention. Clear golden straw body.

Grassy. Hay. Bread yeast.

Grassy. Slightly floral and spicy. Bready. A little apple.

Medium bodied. Dry, clean finish.

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Photo of LiamAhearn
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 5 months from 'Best before date'. Poured into a standard pilsner glass.

A: Pale gold to straw in colour with brilliant clarity and a bright white head which dissipates slowly. Carbonation continues to be effervescent, yet unable to support a head.

S: Pleasant noble hop aroma of Saaz, paired with a moderate grainy maltiness, exhibiting a fresh baked white bready aroma.

T: Extremely clean white bready maltiness with some grainy notes and well balanced flavours of mild spice from the Saaz hops. Bitterness is firm but not overwhelming of the malt backbone.

M: The first impression is of soft malt sweetness which quickly finishes in a dry mouthfeel with the bitterness supporting this sensation. This lends its self to a very drinkable beer as it's dryness calls for you to go back for more.

O: Considering this beer has endured a voyage from the Czech Republic to Australia and remains a fantastic example of a Pilsner is a testament to the brewers of this beer. This beer is known as the original pilsner and for me it is the benchmark for which I compare all Bohemian Pilsner. This is a very enjoyable pilsner and on a hot summers day I could drink this beer without desire for anything else. I look forward to visiting the Plzensky Prazdroj brewery on my travels around the world, as I would love to try this beer fresh from the source.

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Photo of MattChiasson
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the can poured a deep gold, crystal clear, with a thin white persistent head. Medium-high bready malt character (reminiscent of baked pretzel), caramel, moderate level of spicy (saaz) hops, grassy, some subtle lemon notes along with (not unpleasant) buttered popcorn as it warmed. Balance tilting more towards malt on the palate. Crisp, clean, refreshing. A true classic.

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Photo of RMelyon
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When they're skunked, these are just as bad as anything but when you find new bottles, beer doesn't get any more refreshing. Freebies have just the right amount of hops and pilsner bite.

3.0 when old, 4.5s across the board (it even looks clean, with just a hint of brown) when fresh.

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Photo of Squelch
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours golden clear with a white head and sparkling micro bubbles

Smell: Smells of decocted malts.

Taste: Taste is a great balance of malt and noble hops. Malty up front with a hop bitterness and bite from the decoction.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style.

Drinkablity: One of my favorite styles. Very drinkable

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Photo of marcpal
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I have passed by this beer a remarkable amount of times and just chalked it off to swill, I don't know why. I was proven wrong.

I grabbed a bottle of this the other night with dinner because of a small selection and why not. 12oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass.
Bottle graphics: 4/10.

A: Clear light gold color with sporadic lacing left froma bubble-laden white head. Looks good in the pilsener glass.

S: Spicy aroma. The pilsener malts are balance really well with a hop profile that stands up well.

T: Toasted malt flavor go hand in hand with the noble hops. I find a fruity set of flavors with the normal biscuit overtones. This is so far off from the other pilseners I usally enjoy but still a good tasting moderately-hopped pils.

M: Really light and as crisp and cleansing as a good pilsener should or could be. The bubbles were abundant.

D: It took me a long time and finally tried and proven wrong. When I see those annoying commercials now for 'drinkability', this is the beer that now comes to mind. Ideal for a seasonal picnic or grilling party.

I was awfully wrong thinking this was mass-produced garbage. Went really well with a spicy meal and I need to pick some up for the house in the summertime.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beermarket in Toronto. Pours deep golden hue with a thick white head. Nose is herbal hops and biscuit malt. Medium, very crisp body. A lot of herbal hops balanced on the pallet by biscuit malt. Long, bitter finish. Outstanding, classic brew when fresh.

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Photo of Braseltonage
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look, I won't go into much detail as I had little time to take notes. But, after having this many times back home with mixed results I'm basing this review on enjoying draft Urquell in Prague.
It's just better. Maybe solely because of no green bottle, but I don't know. The gorgeous craggy head lasts forever and it's about as smooth and fresh as you can get but still with a rally nice saaz bite even compared to a lot of the other local pils.
Or maybe I'm just getting sucked into the ambiance, but having a beer in (or at least near) it's point of origin just makes sense.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Clear Straw Yellow and a 1 1/2 finger White head that fizzeles down quickly to a thin skim. Light Lacing. Typical for a well made Pils.

S- Bready and Grassy malts backed by a light hop presence.

T- The aroma transitions to the taste quite nicely. Biscuity, grassy notes, and a light but crisp dosage of hops.

M- Typical Mouthfeel. Light Body and crisp high carbonation. Incredibly refreshing.

O- If not the best, Pilsner Urquell is one of the best Pilsners I've ever had. A little more hop presence than most of the other Pilsner's I've had but it doesn't take anything away from the refreshing qualities. Top notch brew.

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Photo of jed
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 30 cl on tap at Bohemia Bagel in Prague. Served in a Pilsner Urquell glass.

Appearance: Beautiful, golden yellow color with even strings of bubbles rising up. Nice big two finger head with a very light, cake-like texture; excellent head retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a trail of very thick lacing.

Smell: A nice, clean-smlling mix of piney hops and sweet, bready yeast notes.

Taste: Bitter nose that breaks into sweet, bready flavors and pine hop notes. Fewer citrus flavors than I expected for a pilsner, but I'm not that familiar with the style. More raw grain flavors as the beer warms. Very dry finish from the hops with some lingering bitterness and more sweet grain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very clean, slightly dry mouthfeel. This beer is almost perfectly carbonated, which makes it very smooth.

Drinkability: Good flavor and a good mouthfeel give this one near-perfect drinkability. Would make an excellent session beer, as evidenced by the high level of alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic.

Not surprisingly, you can get Pilser Urquell almost everywhere in Prague, usually for less than $1.00. While I hear that the U.S. version is weaker or watered down, the original version is a seminal example of the pilsner style. The original and still one of the best … na zdravi!

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Photo of zakery
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice big white head on a luminous golden brew.

Smell: Nice spicy Saaz hops. Brings a nostalgic feeling and memories from the pilsners of my younger years.

Taste: Delishiously fresh and grassy with a very nice bitterness. Very clean and balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated with medium-low to low body.

Very nice tasting pilsner. Michael Jackson says it used to have more character, and if it did, I'd like to taste that version. In the meantime I'll drink any bottle that's offered of this version.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured onto a pilsener glass

A - Dark golden color, almost to copper, small head, some lacing, constant activity, albeit light

S - Buttery toffee, roasted malt

T - Very balanced, sweet malt is cut nicely by a crisp hoppy bite. Not very spicy, but the hop character is noticeable

M - Nice level of carbonation keeps the palate clean, very refreshing and easily drinkable

O - A very good beer, the standard bearer of the style. Goes great in any season and with a lot of different foods

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle. The beer is pale yellow color, very clear, with a perfect white foam. The first whiff is a little skunk but I can't detect it after a few minutes. Mostly I get a nice hops aroma (more floral than citrus) and a light malt too. The flavor is subtle but delicious, a nicely balanced lager slightly favoring the hops. Very drinkable, an excellent beer.

This is a solid last resort beer at many establishments, including Yankee Stadium (there was a beer guy in the stands selling only Pilsner Urquell, but you had to look for him). If all that's available are macro lagers I usually go for this.

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Photo of loubar
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Trader Joe’s. The nose gives off a slight whiff of skunk that doesn’t come through in the taste. Pours a clear straw yellow with a white head that fizzles down to a thin cap. Tasty Pilsen malt sweetness transitions to Saaz hops bitterness. Good carbonation. Excellent balance. A crisp and refreshing pilsner. Love the low ABV.

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Photo of aaronh
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not being a big Pilsner fan, I did not expect much from this beer, although it is the original Pilsner. However, the wonderful hop aroma made my mouth water. It is a beautiful, rich golden beer with a nice head. It has a very clean crisp taste and finish, yet the malt is still evident but very well balanced with the hops. This is a fantastic beer.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
82 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.
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