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: 3,701
Photo of beersarang
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a white head that leaves minor lacing on the glass.

Nose is grassy and typical of the saaz hops.

Tastes soft and smooth. Very crisp malt flavor in the beginning with the mild bite of the saaz hops towards the end. Well done and balanced, but not complex in any way.

Mouthfeel is as would be expected, light bodied and pleasant.

Highly drinkable brew, and one to be respected. It is THE ORIGINAL pils, though I have heard that they changed the recipe a little?

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Photo of Hunter
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 10 oz. pilsner glass. Deep gold beer topped with a thin layer of white foam. Heavy carbonation, little lacing effects. Pretty typical of the style, although the color was bolder than a lot of pilsners.

Aroma is heavy on the hops, and oddly enough, the smell of my old grade-school cafeteria. Weird! Maybe that's an antiseptic tone coming through.

Taste is sharp and not particularly pleasant. Not much by way of malt or hops, more tangy grass than anything else.

Mouthfeel is light, scouring, with that sharpness lingering after the swallow.

Actually found this tastes better straight from the bottle than poured, but not by much. I wouldn't turn it down on a hot day, but I wouldn't seek it out either.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a clear but heavy orange in color with a good, strong, stubborn white head.

Smell – The hops are light and delicate and mate well with the smallest of grain influence. The nose here is well-balanced and nicely put together.

Taste – The delicate but firm grain mixes nicely with the traditional hops. The balance is what really makes this Pils, IMHO.

Mouthfeel – This is big, I’d say a solid medium-bodied, with some light carbonation and an incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This really is the standard for accessible Czech Pils here in the US. It went down wonderfully. I can’t believe I’m not getting a review up on the site for this guy until Jan 2005.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.84/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours your typical pilsener color with a white head. The only thing that makes the look stand out is the oddly spotted carbonation.

Smell: Pale euro lager all the way. Bad malts and bad hops make an even worse mix.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Mostly hops. Not too much malt. The hops are generic and a little gross, but the malts aren't bad. The mouthfeel is thin but decenlty creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Rumor has it that this beer a while back was killer, and recently it's quality has seen a great decline. And that bothers me. This beer has the potential to be crisp clean pilsener, but fails to prove itself. Seems like a waste....

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Photo of Beersignal
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a side by side comparison with Steam Whistle pilsner.

Deep golden yellow in colour bordering on amber, crystal clear liquid topped by a stark white and spunge like cap of foam that dissipates rapidly.

Aromas are faithfully pilsner-like. Compact notes of malted cereal accented by a firm saaz hop presence that reminds one of freshly cut grass. The finish is floral with hints of grain permeating briefly.

Once in the mouth, the brew is silky and firmly textured. A solid malt signature signifies its presence up front but is suddenly overtaken by fresh hop flavours and a crisp and cleansing bitterness. The finish is relatively long and pleasant and is clearly monopolised by the noble hops.

This is a very enjoyable lager, and a standard bearer for the style in my opinion. To be able to taste it from a can rather than the green bottle is really a priviledge as this form of packaging assures quality much more consistently.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass. The body is hazy gold. Bright white head, puffy and frothy, falls gradually and leaves some hunks of lace on the glass.


Musty lemon rinds, fresh cut grass, sourdough bread. Not bad at all. Not as skunked as I expected it might be from the bottle, as I've had it on tap plenty of times sans skunk.


Upfront prick of sweetness (powdered sugar) followed by a broad sweep of cirtusy hop sizzle and tangy yeast. Aftertaste is a lingering, almost puckering tartness.


Plenty of carbonation. Slides just right over my palate -- refreshing.

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Photo of sachsich
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I do agree with our friend Voodoo from Louisiana about having a Pils in the Rep., but I think the Czechs could do with a little improvement with the taste. The appearance is wonderful, but the taste is not the best, and claiming that they are the best, they need to prove it.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in bottle, too bad cannot get my hands on cans.

Dark gold color even to the amber point, lot of little bubbles dancing around for the first 30 secs then the bubbles left the dance floor. Smell hoppish, not as strong as expected, a bit dissapointed here

Tastes, hops, a tiny bit bitter nothing much even to a sweet point, caramel flavours, not very complex,

The mouthfeel is good, very drinkable

So this is THE PILSNER, well I'm dissapointed, but I must try to find it on tap or can.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer out of bottles here in the United States before, and frankly wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be, given the great prestige of this trail-blazing beer.
However, drinking this beer on tap in an authentic Czech beer pub is an entirely different matter. Ambiance and all else aside, Urquell really does taste vastly better in Prague, from the source if you will, than it does from an imported bottle.
The beer pours a wonderful crystal clear gold with a generous, creamy white head that leaves plenty of tracings down the glass. And while the barmeisters in Prague will give you more foam than you may be used to, it settles a little to give back some beer but still retains plenty of foam. As far as taste goes, I found this to be a little creamier, not quite as dry, and in general much more enjoyable than I think pilsners can tend to be. There was no thin, watery characteristic that I think can be found in some pilsners, and I don't just mean lite macro-brews.
This beer was almost as smooth and easy-going as could be (for a CO2 tap anyhow) and immensely thirst-quenching. I'd say the most drinkable beer I've ever had the privilege of quaffing.

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Photo of tweeder263
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a slightly hazy golden color with a 2 finger head.Smells like beer,,has no standout smell.Taste was good, sweet with a little piney hop kick to it.Mouthfeel was ok nothing special. All in all a pretty good beer,will pick up a few more to keep on hand.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The head is tiny.. but it's not skunked or anything. In fact it's still well carbonated. The golden color is eye-catching enough.

The maltiness starts off big and then tapers off nicely. Then a pleasant bitterness.. mmm.. tasty. The body is a bit thin, so it may be a better summer drink. But I would still definitely keep 6 of these in the fridge year round.

I think Pilsner Urquell would pair well with bar food / fish and chips.

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Photo of 2roosters
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what it used to be ... the "Mother Pils" has had it's rough edges worn off. Gone is any trace of skunk but also missing is a certain crisp, hoppy mouthfeel which used to define this beer.

Still nice medium white lace head that stays and a nice golden colour.

Aroma is milder than in the past with trace of grass and hops.

Taste has just a touch of sweetness and citric undertones but more muted than I recall.

Finishes dry with a medium aftertaste.

Excellent session beer, or hot weather quencher.

Very good Pilsner but perhaps no longer a "benchmark". Good value in the British Columbia market - the land that Pilsner forgot.


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Photo of moocey
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours golden/yellow with a two finger head and it leaves waves of thick lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt with hints of grassy hops. The taste was well balanced between the spicy hops and the grainy malt. It was medium bodied crisp, dry, and very refreshing.

Reflection: Why can't Miller make a beer like this? This should be the Pilsner that everyone bases their own version off of. It's a good beer but try to find it on tap, you have a 50/50 chance of the bottle being skunked.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frankly, I'm a bit shocked that this beer's average is this low. It'a great beer.

I'm not happy that they insist on using green bottles. I've definitely had a few light-struck and skunky beers. But when this beer is on draft, it's awesome.

It's obviously a mass-produced beer, but they still have some good quality control. I've actualy been to the brewery. They still use only the freshest hops grown in the nearby Zatec region of the Czech Republic. They grow only Saaz hops there.

The version I sampled was medium bodied with a lovely white head. It laced down the glass and smelled like dank hops all the way. It was very well balanced, and the malt was a nice complement to the flavor hops.

I always recommend this beer to someone who is micro-anxious. It's a good starter beer.

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Photo of steinlifter
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a straw golden, nice foamy head that left a thin collar all the way through, smell was of hops and husk, tastes was of hops with a malty middle, and crisp clean dry finish, great drinkability, very nice, one of the best pilsner's, that I've tried.

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Photo of Tang07
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark yellow/gold with a nice think head that in this case was "chunkey" The head was slightly cream colored and had some thicker "chunks" of bubbles.

The nose was of aromatic herbs and hops.

The taste is crips and clean. A bit bitter for some, but I enjoy a bitter beer.

It feels good in your mouth and even better going down and it leaves a nice clean bitter taste after drinking.

It is great in the summer when you are thirsty and great when the weather starts to cooler too.


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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This wasn't what I was expecting, but I ended up enjoying this anyway. Appearance is golden, with a large, creamy (for the style) head. Fairly carbonated. Smell has some euro hop smell, but malts are much more prominent. Flavor opens up with mild hops bite, middle is way maltier than expected and lightly treachy. Finish has slight taste of lemon. This is very drinkable and goes down easy. Seems that mine tastes different than most the other reviews indicate. I'll need to try this again to see what's up. However, I enjoyed this and found it highly sessionable.

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

Ripe gold with a few miniscule particulates and a bone white cap of foam that is large, creamy and sticky. Attractive wisps and chunks of lace decorate the glass in time.

The particular hop varieties used in classic pilseners don't overly appeal to me, not nearly as much as the citric varieties anyway, but this aroma is pretty good. Sharp and pungent to be sure, but also richer, earthier and more complex than most.

The flavor doesn't quite live up to the nose's promise. Because of the relatively high hop load (and the green bottle?), the negative characteristics of the nobles are in full flower. The beer is sharply bitter and biting with that skunky--although not actually skunked-- flavor that is reminiscent of bitter salad greens soaked in vinaigrette.

The less than sturdy pils malt backbone doesn't add much to the flavor profile since the hops are front, center and back. If I concentrate and let the beer linger on my taste buds, I think I can appreciate a mild lemoniness. I have no quarrel with either the light mouthfeel or the amount of carbonation.

Pilsner Urquell is the original Pilsner (or so the label claims). It's decent, but I'd take Prima Pils at twice the price.

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Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the original Pilsener and still can claim to be one of the best in its style. Golden in color, not a sickly yellow, this has the typical aroma of grain, grass and hops.

The taste is nicely bitter, with notes of cereal and other flavors you don't get in American Pilseners. It's light in the body and thirst-quenching.

Overall, Pilsner Urquell is one of the better ones. Seek it out when looking for good lagers.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is a great injustice that the word "pilsner" has been sullied by certain macro-brews. Urquell is a real pilsner.

The color is a lovely, clear 24k gold; a snow white head appears and quickly dissipates.

Full bouquet- hops, butter, pine sap, a bit of sulphur, and something faintly flowery, perhaps lavender.

This beer has a bracing bitterness that holds steadily into the finish. The flavors reflect the aroma, with the butter and pine sap predominating. There is a spiciness that reminds me of fresh arugula, and the fine effervescence keeps it refreshing.

This is one of the more food-friendly beers I can think of. It is not too heavy nor too light, and it possesses the ability to meld with other flavors and not dominate. It can be quite interesting and satisfying on its own, too. Good French wines can also do that.

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Photo of John1985
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of rousee
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of ybnorml
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of edchicma
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,701 ratings.
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