Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

1,430 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: 1,430 | Ratings: 3,618
Photo of John1985
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this in a twelve pack to protect the beer from the light. The beer pour with an inch white head that dissipated in a few moments. Color was a deep gold with an aroma of sweet malt. The taste was a dominated by a delicious, rich malty flavor balanced by soft hops. The hops pleasantly lingered in the aftertaste. Overall this was a wonderful beer, a real heavyweight! This is a pretty easy choice when the comparably priced beers at the store were Heinkein and Foster's.

 479 characters

Photo of rousee
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cedar tinted gold and forms a 1/2 finger cap quickly and settles to 1/4 finger within 60 secs.

Smell is malty, nutty and fairly fresh - almost exactly what I am searching for. Elements of wheat with a nice clean freshness.

Taste is STRONG malt/hop mixture that is far more malty than hoppy. Wheat elements are present and pleasant but has a slightly metallic back and finish. It is better than I expect it to be. The Czechs make a good gold colored beer.

 468 characters

Photo of ybnorml
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a dark yellow almost amber beer with no head at all (at least that is how it was served). Almost no aroma to speak of just a slight sweet grainyness. The flavor started with that sweet grainy aspect followed by a sharp hop middle. The finish was nice and dry. Definitly refreshing enough for more than one.

 314 characters

Photo of edchicma
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden appearance with good head that leaves quickly. Smell was a bit off...kind of like a skunky Heineken. Fortunately, taste was better...strong on the hops with slight malt presence. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent crispness. Drinkability is ok, especially for a sunny, hot day.

 293 characters

Photo of shippos
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

clear brilliant pale yellow with a decent 1/2" thick head that settled to a skim and ring around the glass. what happened to this beer being able to hold a quarter on the head? excellent hoppy saaz aroma with some grainy aromas hidden behind the hops. nice bitter beginning with a good amount of carbonation and the saaz hops exploding in your mouth. excellent malt center followed by a clean crisp hop bite.

a very hard style to try and brew, my current homebrew attempts are 0-1. one of my all time fav's and one hell of a session beer.

 542 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ahhh good old PU. My beer of choice in my freshman year. I used to think it was so exotic and unusual.... second only to guinness draft (I guess Ive learnt a little about beer since then).

Pours a pale gold color with a nice wispy head and a decent webwork of lace. The aroma is sweetish with hints of sea air and lots of aroma hops. Theres also a little bit of sulfur and cooked corn in the nose. The taste is quite hoppy, mostly floral hops with less hop bitterness, theres also some biscuity malt and a sulfury notes. The mouthfeel is nice and light with active carbonation. This beer is very crisp with a really pleasant aftertaste, definitely highly drinkable. Probably one of my favorite Lagers, though Creemore Springs is definitely my favorite.

 756 characters

Photo of necoadam
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bunch of us enjoyed a 12 pack of this brew. Can't believe I've never had this beer before. So this is the grand-daddy of Czech pils huh? We'll see about that. Pours out a nice golden color with a nice amount of carbonation visible. Smell consisted of big spicy hops along with some grains and grass tones. Taste was good. Starts out with a nice hop bite, but also finishes with a nice hop bite. On a humid summer day, this is as good as it gets. Perhaps a little too thin, but that's ok. A classic for sure.

 509 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had Pilsner Urquell out of a green 22.3 oz green bottle. Gold and white foil on the top of the bottle and cap. Labeled "The Original Pilsner". I served the beer in a pilsner glass.

Minimal head with a golden yellow color. Tiny carbonation bubbles are present.

Smells like grain and malt with a little skunky aroma.

This is a very clean and crisp beer. Subtle sweet flavor and grains work well here. Very drinkable. Pilsners are not my favorite style, but this is enjoyable.

 484 characters

Photo of mobyfann
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid only $0.99 for a 22.3oz bomber at Jungle Jim's...

The appearence is really nice; Classic gold pils with the huge white fluffy and clumpy head, the retention lasts very well and the lacing effects are nice as well. The aroma is the down point of this beer, kind of typical for a pils, it was a low citrus smell and it somewhat floral, it's nice, but nothing special!

The taste is so smooth, this is the way a "light" beer should be. Low malt and hops flavor complement the citrus/floral smell. The mouthfeel is good because of the style. Pilseners are suppose to be smooth and soft and light, it does all of these things! The drinkability is the clear favorite of this beer. Sure it's a lower than normal 4.4% ABV, but you can drink these all night and feel good about it, like I mentioned earlier, this is a true "light" beer in global terms...

Final Thought: I'm glad I bought five of these bombers, I hope to get back to the Jungle and pick up some more up before the rest of you all take them : ) - Cheers!

 1,023 characters

Photo of oelergud
2.38/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear yellow brew, plenty of carbonation and a good white head that leaves decent lace.
Sweet nose with a good deal of bread and grain, very faint licorice scent hidden in the bread.
Taste is similar to smell but it is somewhat watery, just seems too weak although the aftertaste is ok as far as presence goes, if only it was a good presence.
Not high on my drinkability scale, just doesn't feel like a high quality beer.


 437 characters

Photo of mwrseeley
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just bought a brand-new Czech-made Amati alto saxophone and I thought I would toast my new purchase with a nice Czech beer. I was disappointed. Not with the sax. With the beer.

I didn't get much of a head and I thought the taste was too thin; the aftertaste was quite bitter. However, the malty sweetness of the aroma was wonderful. I'd like to try my luck with another bottle of Pilsener Urquell; God only knows how long this one sat under the lights of my neighborhood Carrefour.

 486 characters

Photo of CBFanWish
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though Pilsners aern't my favorite, I have to say that this is about as good as the style can get. It has a full rich flavour with a definate taste of saaz hops. Well balanced and easy to drink. I know it's changed a lot over the years, but it's still a good beer in a pinch.

 275 characters

Photo of bignick
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer. It pours a beautiful golden color with enough lace. The smell is grainy and grassy. The taste is crisp, and the flavors, while not overwhelming, shine through. The taste is a bit grainy, with a combination of hops and malt. It is medium bodied, and moderately carbonated. Overall, this pilsner is quite refreshing.

 332 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colour. Fizzy head that disappeared soon after pouring and yielded no lace. Very mild floral hop aroma. Faint smell of grains. Light sweetness with quite a strong hop bitterness. Fairly crisp, with plenty of carbonation. Medium body, medium smoothness. Dry finish with plenty of residual hop bitterness.

500 mL can with best before date on the bottom.

 367 characters

Photo of TongoRad
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It should be noted that this sample was taken from a closed case.

This is a gorgeous beer- a beautiful saturated yellow topped by a dense creamy head. Hops and malt are evident in the nose, almost a sweet grassiness. The texture hits a perfect balance between rounded and crisp. Hops linger in the finish- clean flavors all around. It's a wonderful beer when fresh.

 368 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap @ The Squealing Pig in Boston, MA.

Pours out golden colored with a medium sized head. Lots of aroma, but hard to detect exactly what it is. Somewhat fruity. Same thing with the taste. Very smooth, coats your mouth extremely well, but the flavor is mysterious. Not a bad brew. I would recommend it just for people to try, but i don't think i would drink these all night long. Taste for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

 434 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Claddagh in Lansing.
Great looking pour, further humiliates American macro "pilsners." Pours tawny amber, with ample off-white head.
Very malty smell, with a solid backbone of hops.
Sweet taste is rounded out by a subtle hop bitterness, very nice.
Smooth drinking with the perfect amount of carbonation, an absolute dream of a pilsner on tap.

 357 characters

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

You first notice the blooming head. A good three fingers thick on a rough pour. Very white, falling into a mallow-like surface, pocked with larger sized bubbles.

Beautiful gold with a slight beading.

Nice hop driven nose, especially for a pilsner, but the malt does not bow out. It is present and good.

Nice hop front in the mouth, but well balanced. It ends on a better note, but the middle seems all malt.

A very refreshing bier.

Nice smooth mouthfeel, great drinkability.

 490 characters

Photo of noclue
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden "classic" pilser appearance. High foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Not very lacy, it seems to leave an oily-like residue in the glass.

The only thing I could smell in this brew was a grassy/grainy type aroma. The taste was a little more impressive, with a hint of lemon added to the grass, grain, and slight malty hoppiness.

I enjoyed the extremely dry finish of this brew, as I found it quite odd. Easy beer to drink. Not a bad brew.

 470 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best pilsner I have had. Pours a nice clear with sunlight gold/yellow and a medium sized head that lasted farely long. Lacing is not bad for the style. Smell of earth tones, and nice hop aroma, roasted grains brings a nice aroma to the beer, hints of lime/lemon zest. Taste is a nice refreshing crisp beer, you get a nice combo of roasted grain and lemon herbs. A strong bittersweet aftertaste (lemon/apple) A medium bodied pilsner that goes down well, probably the staple if you want a pilsner.

 510 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This deep golden brew forms a nice, lacy white head as its poured. The head disapates, but does cling a bit to the glass as the lager is consumed. The aroma is of grains and grass, with some pleasant complexity. The flavor is bold, yet crisp and refreshing. I noticed olive-like notes in addition to yeast, grain, and grass flavors. The dry finish was pleasant, but not quite as crisp as I'd like. For a grocery store beer, this was quite drinkable.

 449 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 JohnW
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was interested in reading others reports on this pilsner - which vary wildly! Maybe it does not travel well across from Europe in bottles, and not sure how you get it in the US on tap. For me, this is one of the best Pilners available, typical nutty sharp aroma, clean crisp taste, very refreshing, and better than the Czech Budvar (or Czechvar as I think it is labelled in US) To have it on tap in a bar in the Czech Republic is wonderful....and a great way to spend an evening! I know everyone has different tastes, and what one likes another may not, but I was suprised at the unfavourable reports in here...one comparing it to Miller Lite ..huh ??!!!! I know a lot of beers here in US are very different to European beers, and I guess it's what we get used too...but for me, Urquel Pilsner is a true example of Czech/European pils - wonderful.

However, from the UK Camra monthly magazine recently there was a report that some changes may have been made to the brewing process (reasons of economy...dread the thought) and maybe some change in its quality...but I hope not. I have not had a bottle in the last 12 months, will have try it again.

Post script to my comments above! Just bought bottle of this (August 2004) and tried it again. I have to say that this is (was!) one of my favorite pilsner beers from Czech, but was disappointed. Either my taste has changed, or, as has been suggested, the brewing process has been wrecked by cost cutting. It still has the same sharp 'nose' but seemed more bitter than I remembered it, rather thin and not much character or depth in the after-taste. I still like the style, but it is no longer one of my top ten favourites.

John W

 1,687 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
2.03/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't know what the big deal about this beer is. Its slightly above Miller Light, but why bother? Pours a fizzy yellow with a wet hay/corn smell to it. Not much to the taste... fizzy tasteless pilsner. Zero character. Why pay $5 for this at the bar?

 251 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden beer with a standard head with more or less retention. Carbonation is quite standard. Aroma is a bit floral with some malt coming out also. Taste is also floral with some note of malt. This is a very light and refreshing beer. The beer might have been a bit skunked, which seems to be a recurrent problem with the Urquell; they don’t seem to stand the long trip from Europe to America very well. I find that the can version usually preserve itself better the the bottle version.

 503 characters

Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
82 out of 100 based on 1,430 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.