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: 1,455 | Ratings: 3,729
Photo of funkengruven
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours like pretty well any other pilsner, yellow with some lacing. Smell is of fresh barley, quite nice. Taste is of barley malt and very strong hops. This is a pretty bitter brew. it takes some getting used to. Not a bad beer, but a little more bitter than i was expecting.

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Photo of jdm
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of jayc333
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 6.3 fl oz bottle. Pours out a clear, golden color with a medium sized head. The aroma is slightly malty with spicy hops. Flavor starts out malty and sweet. There is some apple fruitiness in the middle. Finishes with a long lasting hoppiness. The hops are bitter and spicy. Medium mouthfeel with a higher than average carbonation. Good drinkability. A large bottle of this stuff is gone in no time. Good stuff.

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Photo of hylton44
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The original! And one I like better with every bottle. P.U. is a rich, dark yellow color with a medium head. It has a sharp, citrusy nose, promising (and ultimately delivering) a satisfying blend of sour lemon and strong hoppy bitterness.

I like how the first taste sensation I have is sharp, sweet, and clean; but how this "solid block" of tangy bitterness pushes across the back of my tongue, almost like a fine, super-sharp, aged cheese. But far more clean, of course. A great thirst-quencher, but with enough character and bitterness to keep you from tossing too many down in a hurry.

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Photo of palffyfan
2.18/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Rich golden hue, no head at all, with a great deal of carbonation.

Smell - Nothing special, smelled like Bud.

Taste - Lots of hop bitterness with a mild hop aftertaste. Kind of burns the tongue a little bit and the bitterness remains upto 30 seconds after sips.

Drinkability - If you're a fan of bitter beers, this drink is for you. Just a clean, crisp, bitter taste.

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Photo of danielharper
2.82/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

A nearly perfect appearance for a pilsener, with a completely transparent orange-yellow body with a thick white head. Thick streams of carbonation continually rise to the top from the bottom of the pilsener glass.

Aroma's always difficult for me to judge on a pilsener. Should I rate it a 1, for smelling really skunky and nasty, with a touch of that grassy aroma that makes pilseners so distinctive? Or should I rate it fairly highly, for being well-done to-style, and for having the courage of its convictions. I'll split the difference.

Very dry, grassy flavor with some sweetness far below. I don't much care for pilseners, but this is pretty note-perfect for the style, again, so I'll give it a good rating.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, coating the mouth nicely and leaving a sweet aftertaste on the palate. Good.

I don't find these very drinkable, for I would never want more than one. But for a Czech Pilsener, this is pretty great. If you like beers of this style, go for it.

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Photo of wcudwight
2.74/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle claims this to be the first golden beer.
Pours a very attractive deep golden color. Thin fizzy head with poor retention and no lace. Smells of bread, sweet malts, bananna, and a faint hoppy smell. Not good IPA type hops though.
The taste is bready and sweet. Has a harsh buttery finish. Crisp in the mouth but a bit thin and watery. This would be a fairly drinkable beer if it wasn't for the harsh buttery aftertaste.
This is a beer I would drink if they were not any better offerings. Better than a typical BMC, but that's about it.

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Photo of Andreji
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally I have come around to tasting the original pilsner, in a bar in the middle of the Gothic Town in Barcelona.

I hadn´t too many expectations because I´m no big fan of pilsners, which enhanced my satisfaction because I was pleasantly surprised.

not much to say about the pour, well, it just looks like a freakin lager. the smell was fairly metallic, sharp, much expected for a pilsner. yet still nothing suggesting an above-average type.

the taste was very pleasant. a metallic flavour becomes the border between a mild sweetness and a subtle bitterness. this with a fuller-than-expected body, making it ever more surprising at both taste and mouthfeel.

This is quite a positive session, pilsner, lager. this I will have again (already did a few times).

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a magnificent clear golden color with lively carbonation. Somewhat dense one and a half finger head shows passable retention, and weak, spotty lacing. Saaz hop totally dominates the aroma, overshadowing a distinct pilsener malt scent. Sweet malt is abruptly overwhelmed by a sharp hop bite. Find this on draught and you will easily disern the saaz hop flavor from the light-struck green bottle skunk. Obviously light bodied and highly carbonated, this exceedingly hoppy brew is quite crisp and refreshing, but the malt character is difficult to pick up, and perhaps a bit unbalanced. Aftertaste and finish are strong with acidic bite and bitterness, but remains very drinkable and truley satisfying when you're in the mood for a real pilsener.

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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 Enola
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out an orange tinted yellow color. The beer had a head bit it quickly dissipated. The smell reminds me of a light beer with a touch of hops coming through. The taste is a bit hoppy for a pilsner. Not an strong hop flavor but enough to detect. The mouthfeel is average with a small amount of lingering bitterness. As far as drinkability goes, I could drink these as a session beer. There are better choices but I could drink them if need be.

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Photo of imrichbeeeatch
4.64/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer! I drink a lot of NW beers, and often forget about imported beers like this. I don’t know why.

Served out of a bottle at a local restaurant. Pours big white creamy head (looks like snow). Aroma is beautiful! Saaz pouring out of the glass. Crisp typical lager smell. Malty and clean. First taste is a perfect blend of malt and hops-bread and spice-grain and herbs. Bitter snap brings you back out of the glass. Take a another drink fool.


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Photo of evanackerman
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

for me this is the benchmark pilsner by which others should be judged, extremely crisp, beautiful hop bitterness, i don't care if they use hop extract, it tastes great to me! beautiful color for a pilsner. nice beer. nice bready malt and floral hop aroma.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear golden amber pour with 2 fingers of pure white froth that leaves scattered trails of lace.

Aroma is clean malts, a hint of citrus, and spicey floral hops.

Flavor has cereal and honey malt flavors with a dry, grassy herbal taste followed by hints of skunk, Hoppier than expected with a spicey and floral Saaz finish.

Body is just above light with excessive carbonation and a light beer mouthfeel. Nothing to jump up and down about that's for sure.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.62/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight out of the bottle, it smells a little skunky maybe, and some herbal hop-type aromas come through. Pours a clear dark gold with a medium, dissipating head and small bubbling bubbles. Less skunk, more hops now. Not nearly as aromatic as I had hopped. <-- pun intended

First on the tastebuds is some sharp bitterness, fading to a residual bitter aftertaste. Very clean, straightforward flavour - not noticing any fruit or malts or anything hiding in the back.

I'm smelling a bit of malt now, but very subdued. Taste is still hops only.

I guess there's nothing wrong with this. Nothing bad about it or anything. I'm not exactly a pils expert, but it seems somewhat one-dimensional.

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Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz green bottle with no freshness date. I grabbed this bottle from the cooler out of an unopened case ... so there is not chance of this beer being light-struck.

A- Bright shimmering golden hue, good white lacing on top.

S- Spicy hops with a canned Mandarin orange citric aroma to them, big waft of grassy grain in the nose as well.

T&M- Just as smooth as it is crisp. Strong hop bitterness, sweet grassy malted barley brushes across the palate with dry biscuity notes. Spiciness from the hops is pronounced with a light and dry finish that holds a long road of flavor.

D- With the use of hop extracts this beer almost tastes too fresh ... or perhaps I am used to old bottles. Either way it is pretty damn bitter, which is not a bad thing ... simply, it is not the same beer from years gone by but it still is a quality brew I would not mind visiting once in a while.

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Photo of casualbeerman
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was ok, but did not turn out to be my style. I got this after reading some rave reviews for Budwieser Budvar, the Czech beer Busch named its best selling brew after. I couldn't find Budvar (or Czechvar in America) just then, and Urquell is its main competitor, so I got that instead. Plus many people here said Urquell is better anyway. It didn't turn out to be that great for me. The appearance is very pleasant, a golden amber with a substantial white frothy head. The bottle is nice too, I like the green and I think the foil adds a classy touch. The smell was very interesting, and I could detect some grass and even some floral aspects. The taste and mouthfeel were a letdown though. There's medium malt, not much yeast, and very strong hops. This is I think my second beer with Saaz hops, and I do not appreciate them. My problem with virtually all hops is that they generally fall into either the catagory of the almost non-existent (see especially American macro style lagers, but including some better ones like Saranac Smooth Lager or Killians Irish Red), strong and disgusting (skunked beer and Bud), or overbearingly bitter (Urquell, Sierra Nevada, Saranac Aiderondak Amber). Very few beers use hops with my ideal flavor profile which is balanced with some bitterness and a complex flavor (See Sam Adams, Yuengling Traditional Lager). Urquell uses the bitter sledgehammer and I don't appreciate it. There are definately some subtle and enjoyable things going on in the flavor if this beer. But the hops crowd it out. And the mouthfeel and drinkability further suffer because its kind of on the thick side. Of course, by this time, fans of Urquell who are reading this review are probably going "That's what real beer is like idiot! Sorry its not another tastelss Macro lager from Milwalkee or St Louis". Now that'd be a pretty fair thing to say, but I have 2 counters. 1, If your hops are good enough I'll put up with the bitterness. These are close, but not quite there. Strong bitter flavor doesn't make a good hop by itself, at least not for me. 2, Isn't pilsner supposed to be on the light side and thirst quenching? If they really are, then this is not true to the style. Except Urquell is supposed to be the origional pilsner. So my conclusion is that pilsner in general is overhyped. Just because its got an interesting color and a new hop doesn't make it the class of the world. Then again, this was still a good beer and a fairly interesting beer even if I thought it had its faults.

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Photo of CrazyMike
2.76/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark tasting beer. It is malty, strong and smooth, a formula that is destined to get a great review from me, however I found the beer to be very bitter at times.

The smell is okay, a bit fruity. After trying this a several times, I noticed you really take a chance on weither it's skunked or not. Just a disclaimer.

It is a fair beer, not the best Czech Pilsner I have tried, but okay.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an almost orange gold colour, with next to no head. Lots of carbonation can be seen rising from bottom to top. Smells a bit skunky, but it is a green bottle. Bit of grassy hops and sweet malt. Taste is alright. Mild bitterness, with an odd , subdued sour aftertaste. Finishes slightly dry. Drinkable as a session beer, I guess. But, their are much better choices.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pilsner Urquell pours to a clear rich, golden colour with only the meerest trace of amber. The head is white, thick, creamy and long lasting with excellent lacing. On the nose, there's a mild sulphurous aroma with a little toasted malt and some grassy tones. There's a woody, smoky quality to it as well, an almost hickory, barbecue-type aroma.

Medium bodied, it's immediately crisp, sharp and refreshing, with a good hop taste upfront. There's a spicy, lemon tea-like flavour with a slightly sweet malt, burnt toast taste in the background. The malt also imparts a buttery, caramel flavour before the beer finishes somewhat bitter and decidely dry.

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Photo of kennyo
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I always worry about drinking this beer, you gamble if you are going to get a good bottle or a skunked one. Purchased 12 pack, on sale, in the enclosed card board container, figured it might not be bad. Got lucky, no skunk.

Yelllow gold color, crystal clear with white head, nice carbonation. aroma was pilsner malt with a little cereal to it. Taste - its a pilsner, need I say more. OK there is more hop bitterness in it then other pilsners. very drinkable.

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Photo of whynot44
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light/medium bodied, clear golden color with a nice white head.

Aroma is sweet toasted malt, hay, and a bit of hops spice.

Taste is somewhat sweet and malty with a very nice crisp hops finish.

Very well balanced, smooth and very easy to drink. This was perfect with barbecue.

Definitely one of the best of the Pilsner or lager beers.

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Photo of ski271
2.44/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Was about to type in my review of this beer before the shred of paper with my scribblings completely disintegrated in my pocket, but the first line of the previous review caught my eye. Maybe I should just say “ditto” and be done with it. I was about to write about how I’ve tried this beer several times and from different bars, restaurants and six-pack stores and in different towns (in case the problem was the distributor), but it’s always quite skunked. It pours a clear, medium gold with a touch of amber and has a very small, white head that quickly diminishes to a very thin film. But the smell. Yikes! I was hit by the strong skunk as soon as I popped the cap on this bottle. I poured it and let it sat, knowing that sometimes the skunk will subside just enough that you can concentrate on the other qualities of the beer, but this one didn’t. All I got was skunk with a little bit of floral hops and light grain sticking out behind it. The taste was more of the same. It has a medium-light body, dry texture, and low carbonation. Drinkability? I’m rather stingy with my money and didn’t want to waste a beer that cost as much as it did, but I couldn’t do it, and half of it went down the sink. The burps of skunk for the next half hour made wish I hadn’t even had the 6 ounces I did. Some of the other bottles of this beer I've had have been slightly better, but never good. Total disappointment, and I doubt I’ll be giving this another chance, not at that price. But I agree with Hero27 that maybe I would give it another chance if it were on tap somewhere.

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Photo of hero27
2.74/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Do they have fresh bottles of this stuff? Every time I try it, it's a bit skunked. I feel I've given it enough chances, so I'm holding the review against it. Maybe if they had brown bottles or I could try it on draft, it'd be a different story. Pours a clear golden-yellow color...head is modest but leaves decent lacing. Euro-skunk aroma...ugh. Taste is mostly grassy, herbal hops. Light, clean mouthfeel. Drinkable, but the "imported" class labels it a bit too pricey for what you get. Not an entirely bad pilsner, and I'm frankly not crazy about the style to begin with...but it just doesn't blow me away. I can't imagine it even being that great minus the skunk. It's simplicity and lack of body make it a below average offering in my book.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,729 ratings.
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