Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,434 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,434 | Ratings: 3,642
Photo of FrozenJoe
2.74/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice head. Plenty of visible carbonation. Light lacing. Light copper color. Very clear.

Smell: Smells just like it tastes. Malty, sourdough biscuit aroma.

Taste: Malty, sourdough biscuit flavor. Bitter but no floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Bitter. Nice carbonation. Flavor lingers.

Overall: Disappointing. Where is the floral hop finish? Tastes like an imitation of Heineken. I've been to Germany and tasted real Pilseners. This isn't one of them. That being said, not a bad session beer if you like a bitter lager.

 524 characters

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.

 349 characters

Photo of moocey
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Finally had one of these on tap last night. Tried it before from a bottle, but it was skunked to high-heaven. (big surprise)

Poured with a finger of head. Healthy golden color. Aroma is just a kiss of hoppiness.

Taste - Oh, this is what a "light" beer is supposed to be. Nothing earth shattering, just lightly hoppy and delicious. This is the first time I've tasted saaz hops and simply enjoyed it instead of wishing it was cascade, chinook, or centennial instead. I would keep this in my fridge on a regular basis if I could buy it in good condition. Perfectly drinkable.

So it's brewed with 70something percent hop extract now? Oh, well. I guess that doesn't necessarily mean bad beer.

 701 characters

Photo of fightingirishcmk
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 6 pack after trying it for the first time and liking it on St. Patty's day. I wasn't able to find a sealed 12 pack, so I'm not sure how much light has affected the green bottle.

Golden/Honey colored with a quickly dissipating head.

Aroma is sweet/malty and slightly hoppy, although not too strong.

Taste is quite sweet with some bitterness, very crisp and refreshing. First taste to last taste, it seems to have changed somewhat for the better. More flavorful than most common name pilsners.

Mouthfeel is very good, with just the right amount of carbonation to give this a smooth, crisp, refreshing feeling. Not too heavy, but not too thin either.

Definitely rather high on my drinkability list. I'm not familiar with the old style, but I think I will continue to buy this beer occasionally.

 815 characters

Photo of MP72
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- copper colored with virtually no head or retention to speak of.

S-bread and saaz hops

T-very bitter , more so than I remember from past experiences. A slight metallic taste begins each sip followed by sharp hop bite(exctract).

M- Medium light body and highly carbonated.

O- A bit of a let down, average at best and sad to think this used to be the epitome of the pilsner style.

 384 characters

Photo of SnowGoon99
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

I was very reserved when cracking this bottle. I've always wanted to try what a real pilsner tasted like. The green bottle definitely puts off the more seasoned drinkers. I was expecting extreme oxidation.

The beer pours a dark straw or golden color. Definitely darker than most American pilsners. Aroma was disheartening. Definitely a scent of oxidation and cooked corn (DMS). But to be fair slight DMS is a trait of pilsners.

Taste was surprisingly not oxidized. Typical lager characteristics such as sulfur. Almost a hint of a clover honey. Great body for a pilsner as well. Definitely a welcome surprise. Somewhat drinkable but didn't make me want to have another.

Overall a very surprisingly good beer. I was expecting Bud or Coors and i got something better. Still had some flaws but definitely not a terrible beer.

 873 characters

Photo of nms1987
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold/amber color, nice foamy head.

A little bit closed on the nose but what there is there is fresh, and floral. The scents that get through are beautiful, if only there were more of them

Smooth and spicy at all at once. Nice hoppy bite but not that overwhelming bitterness an IPA would have. Delicious and spicy.
Medium bodied, not light or watery at all.

A good pilsner is the perfect beer.
This stuff isn't perfect but it is damn good. A true joy to drink. Loaded with flavors and great to drink anytime.

 518 characters

Photo of lespaulrocker
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light amber with a lot of carbonation. Small head that dissipates quickly, leaves little to no lacing.

S: Great smell. Citrus, flowers, and malts. Draws you in immediately.

T: Good taste. Citrus at the start, some malts in the middle with a slight hoppy finish.

M: A lot of carbonation, I think it could have done with a lot less. Smooth.

D: Easy drinker.

I had a couple of these with a friend at a conference discussing the lectures we heard. Great stuff for such conversations. I'd seek it out again.

 553 characters

Photo of PhilHeinricke
2.09/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There was an old Monty Python joke about American beer, something about a canoe, but the point was that American beer doesn't have a very strong taste. Well, that's what I have to say about this. It's pretty doggone close to water. It barely had any aroma at all, and it didn't have much taste either.

I was at a family and friends gathering, and I figured that being knee-walking, toilet hugging drunk might make being around my family bearable so when the hostess mentioned beer, I made a bee-line to the fridge. I had one bottle of this. I realized that I'd have to drink two cases just to get a buzz so I just stopped after one bottle. It wasn't worth it.

 666 characters

Photo of jenbys2001
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a mug of this beer while on vacation in the Czech Republic. After a long exhausting day of marching the frigid winter streets of Prague this beer tasted like liquid bliss. However, after reading these reviews I get the impression that this beer is much better on tap and close to the source (the way I tasted it). It's a light but very bitter pilsner. It was decent, but nothing astonishing. I imagine if I tasted other pilsners this one wouldn't stand out in my mind.

 478 characters

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

I reviewed this beer from a bottle and gave it a C+...on tap it was another story.

On tap this beer was absolutely delicious!!!
Makes me think that there is just a high chance of this beer getting "skunked" in the bottle.

Beautiful hop finish, and very drinkable.

 266 characters

Photo of mickstepp
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So this is the original, the beer we have to thank for insipid watery American macro lagers? I'll try not to hold that against it.

It certainly looks like a yellow fizzy beer. But with more aroma. Very crisp taste. Some hop character.

Is Urquell better than Bud/Miller/Coors? Certainly. Is it better enough? I guess I'm just not a big fan of the Pilsner style.

 367 characters

Photo of dali27
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9 oz. can into a pilsner glass.

A: Excellent medium golden color with creamy white head. Awesome lacing down side of the glass. Active carbonation.

S: Grains are the first smell that are detected. Mild hops scent of the Saaz coming through.

T: Sweet and then spicy. Taste goes from sweet bread to hoppy spice. Spice lingers afterwards. This beer gives such a balanced blend that is just tastes damn good.

M: Thinly bodied, but I have to go with that being the way it's supposed to be given its original pilsner status.

D: Truly a very good drinker. The excellent alternative to other "True Pilsners" out there.

Seriously, this beer is exceptional. My recommendation is to buy this in a pint can rather than the bottle. I have been burned many times by buying bottles that are within "best before" dates, or have been closed in 12 packs. I have even often debated with myself the merits of this beer with the skunky aroma and slight skunky taste, and it's still not bad. But if you want the freshest experience possible, at least in the US, buy it in the can.

This beer sets the standard about what a true pilsner should be, and is always what I compare other pilsners to. Truely great.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Dravin
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 0.5 l can into a pilsner glass. Best by date is JN.08.15.

Look -- Pours a straw color with 2 fingers of quickly dissipating loose head. No lacing to speak of.

Smell -- Herbal/grassy hops and biscuity malt along with diacetyl.

Taste -- Like the nose, biscuity malt give light sweetness, herbal/grassy hops with a hint of spiciness, and diacetyl. Pleasant light bitterness.

Feel -- Good carbonation and light body leave the beer crisp and clean on the palate.

Overall -- A pleasant enough light and refreshing pilsner. I'm not a big fan of the diacetyl even though I understand it's characteristic of the beer. I'm not sure just how much of the diacetyl I'm tasting and smelling is intended by the brewer and how much is a consequence of handling. The beer is in code however so I'm just rating it straight.

 828 characters

Photo of Burnthedevice
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very basic and straightforward. Not complex, but I don't mean that in a bad way in this case. This beer isn't trying to be complex.. It is what it is, which to me a good example, maybe even a "standard" for the style. Reminds me of something my grandfather in Greece would've drank. Active carbonation, hop presence in keeping with the style. Soft mouthfeel with a nice, lingering maltiness. Some skunkiness, especially in the aroma. Don't know if I would go out of my way to buy this again (I possibly would, if in the mood), but if it was offered, I would certainly not complain. This is another beer that I wish American macros tasted like.

 646 characters

Photo of Trentonator
1.12/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

OK, so maybe I got a skunked version of this beer, but drinking this was truly a nauseating experience. It had really bad skunky aroma, the taste was bitter and the mouthfeel made me want to puke. I would re-review this if I got a decent example, but I am not sure I ever want to lay eyes on another one of these nasty brews again. If the beer was spoiled in transit, then maybe the brewers want to rethink their bottling/distributorship/label dating. This was an awful, awful beer.

 482 characters

Photo of jayc333
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden yellow with a finger of bubbly white head. Many tiny bubbles rise to the top, but the head still dissipates a bit too fast.

Smells of grassy hops, and sweet malts.

Metallic taste, but if you look past that, you can find the characteristics from the smell. Also, it is very dry.

Watery feel on the palate, and a bit over-carbonated.

Sorry, it's just not for me. I find it a little over-rated.

 418 characters

Photo of jdm
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a benchmark pilsner. billowy, white two finger head that leaves a fair amount of lacing. it has a medium yellow color and is very effervescent. urquell smells a touch grainy and grassy. it tastes spicy, bitter, and sweet. this is one of the most drinkable beers around.

 277 characters

Photo of stevecee2003
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this beer had changed. I hadn't tried it in several years. What I had remembered, and expected, was a bit more raw hops. A kind of grassy taste. Then I read that it HAS. New equipment, and equally new taste.

Instead I got an easier, softer taste. Geez, worst of all, almost like an "American" beer. Yikes!

12oz. bottle Date on the label: 1842. oops, thats not the born on date, it's the brewery date. Unfortunately the "old world" taste is no longer there.

Smell: still a grassy smell, and still fresh smelling. Just not quite as strong.

Taste: Kind of like it would be as Pilsner Light. The breweries of Plzen may house the grandfather of Pilsner beer, but their new equipment makes it taste like the pride of St. Louis.

There is a lemony sweetness, and their familiar aftertaste, but not as prevelant as before.

Overall: Would be a decent Pilsner, except for those great menories of the old days with Urquell.

 945 characters

Photo of jeffaz02t
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: light-golden with loads of carbonation action. Very little head, though slight lacing occurs.

S: Bready crispness with a floral hops presence.

T: Basically like it smells, bready malts, with slight floral hops in the finish. Quite a clean taste, simple and to the point.

M: light body with a heavy level of carbonation. Goes down easily as it is so thin bodied.

D:I could pound these all night, though I would likely get slightly bored as this beer is what it is, a great and simple pilsner.

Notes: Very crisp beer and always one to fall back on from time to time. Not my favorite pilsner, but I would not turn my nose at this offering.

 649 characters

Photo of NA1NSXR
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - small disappating head, golden color, quite clear, barely any carbonation activity. I've had this quite a bit before, but if I were to pretend I haven't, and try to guage this beer on appearance alone, it would seem that it does not have much to offer.

Smell - Medium strength smell comprised of hoppy and maybe a touch of roasted/caramel malty aromas. Most of the other competitive pilseners I've had have an overwhelming hoppiness in the nose, which is good in one sense but not very special. I like the smell which has more than just hops to offer.

Taste - I like how this is not a one trick pony. You don't get slammed just by the hop flavor. This is much better balanced than most pilseners I've had, offering more malty tones that complement the hop character and medium bitterness. If I were to compare this to a hypothetical 'ideal pilsener' in opinion, this would come closer than a lot of craft or specialty pilseners on the market.

Mouthfeel - More bite from the carbonation than the appearance leads one to believe. Finishes clean leaving a mild bitterness in the mouth. Refreshing overall.

Drinkability - Overall I can see myself drinking a lot more of these than craft pilseners. If we agree that this is the original, then I feel that craft pilseners or other pilsener attempts have really strayed away from the point. This one is really well balanced. Can it be improved upon? Sure, but for such a widely distributed beer the balance is really excellent and it offers more than the sum of its parts.

 1,532 characters

Photo of mmahut
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A good tapped Pilsner is a good Pilsner, too bad it's not easy to find even in Czech Republic.

A: Golden and calm, no carbonation at glance, the head has its self-esteem.

S: Strong on hops, what defines a pilsner.

T: Hops follows the smell, if you look deep enough you can feel some lemon, bitterness and spice.

M: Medium body with light carbonation on the tongue.

D: Varies, if you've tasted this beer in US, it has little to do with real Pilsner taste from Czech Republic. Come and visit us, you will taste it for your own and be the best judge. I personally enjoy it only if it's poured very well.

 606 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 ProfessorHops
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- As gold as the honey on Pooh's pot.

Aroma-Very good sweet hops.

Pallet- Thick and round. Very bitter and complex. Almost bights. A lot of hops.

Finish- Long and bitter. Some sweat candy like that creeps from the bottom.

Guzzle Factor Per Style- Can be a quencher cause you can drink a lot of it. But a lot of breweries Pil's drink easier. The pilsners in my opinion, is to serve the purpose of being a beer that it to be enjoyed at picnics and base ball games. This beer could do that in the right hands.

Texture- Round lager.

Extra: This is the second time I've reviewed this beer. I liked it better this time. I thought the complexity was very cool. Also the candy in the finish was very cool.

 713 characters

Photo of Taipans
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4 pint pack at my local grocer this past weekend. With temps hitting in the mid - 90s I figured this would be a pretty refreshing beverage. I wasn't dissapointed, it was light, crisp and a pretty good rep of the style.

Out of can, so I will have to skip on the appearance, but I did like the can design. =)

It had a grainy sweet aroma, much like the macro lagers in the states. It tasted somewhat bitter with a nice complex profile. Smooth and easily drinkable, I had a couple pints and didn't feel bloated or full.

Highly recommended!

 552 characters

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