Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,443 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,443 | Ratings: 3,668
Photo of DoctorZombies
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale gold (4) pour with thin white head; excellent clarity; cap disappeared quickly; spotty lace at best. Floral hop nose. Floral, slightly bitter hop tongue; bready middle; very lite DMS; floral finish. Lite mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Crisp, clean with floral hop linger.

 281 characters

Photo of tomakara
3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer was very bitter and appeared to be a golden brown. It was light and easy to drink, would consider it among your average beers, nothing super special.

 159 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear copper with a moderate foamy head that dies off to a thin ring.

Buttery, crisp scent is backed by caramel candy.

Tastes like a warm buttered roll.

While the malt is buttery, there is a tangy tingle in the back of the throat that keeps you coming back for more. This is very smooth drinkable

 307 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

It is a very light yellow-orange with a small lacy head. It smells like a straw-grassy hoppiness and breads. It tastes like grains, biscuits, and a very light hoppiness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light, carbonated, and light. A light, beer with a flavor that you need to be in the mood for. Not bad, but I would only recommend it to Pilsner fans.

 360 characters

Photo of bakercia
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light yellow, smell reminds me of some white German wine. Tasted like every salty breaded item you can imagine. Pretzels? Biscuits? Overall tastes good, but not the best.

 177 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at The Ithaca Ale House in Ithaca, NY.
Comes in a clear, fizzy color with a tight off white head that leaves lacing.
Smells of toast and grass.
The palate is biscuit, toast, and a dab of honey. Grainy and mildly sweet. Finishes with grass and some light sweet green pepper and lemon.
The body is medium-minus, well-carbonated, clean, and very drinkable.

Finally had this staple of the style. Good stuff.

 416 characters

Photo of rocketcat
2.34/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Long tasting and quite strongly brewed beer. Not going to my favourites though, too stuffy taste overall.
Pitkä, vahvahkosti humaloitu ja keskitäyteläinen olut. Hieman jopa tunkkaisen makuinen ja melko voimakas III-olut.

 241 characters

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.

 401 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A classic. It's hard to review this one and not give points for its place in beer history, but here goes.

Color is gold, richer than many of the beers inspired by this one. Carbonation is prominent when poured, forming a white head, though the larger bubbles fade fairly quickly. Nose gives the classic hoppy profile with a bit of malt beneath; nothing too broad here, but good balance. Taste is hoppy from beginning to end but balanced and refreshing. Malts are secondary but present and the balance is nice. Again, it's hard not to say that this is what this style is "supposed to" taste like, though there is certainly room for more flavor. Mouthfeel is clean, only the faintest malty creaminess, which could be overlooked. Some lingering hoppy aftertaste. To me this beer is more than the sum of its parts, but the sum is fine; it's a quintessential example of the style.

This bottle had a "best by" date of "APR2816" so it could have been fresher. I believe more flavor would have emerged from a fresher sample, but this was still good.

 1,043 characters

Photo of do_ob
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very sweet for a pilsner. Reminded more of a lager. Nice drinkability. Smooth and crisp without being too light. I'm typically not a fan of the style, but I did enjoy this one.

 176 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured mine into a nice Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. It pours a nice golden straw color, minor/moderate foam head, lots of bubbly goodness floating tot he top of the glass as it sits. The foam head stays thin for a long while, since I haven't finished this one yet.

Smell, I can't say, hops maybe? Straw? Whatever it is, it's a comforting smell, it smells good.

Tastes like a Helles Lager to me, at least they taste of a similar style, this bold flavor I can't name and a bitter finish which is probably the hops. Despite not caring for hop bitterness myself, I think this is pretty good.

Full feel, not highly carbonated but it feels... full.Not watery at all.

Overall, I'm glad I picked some of this up, I love trying European beers, so much better variety and taste than American ones.

 796 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into the modified tulip glass.
A - Nice clarity, dark straw colored, gentle train of tiny bubbles chase upwards, a white knit cap rides the train.
S - A hint of light struck, past that warm bready malts, a nice floral hop snap at the end.
T - Well balanced between the floor swept malts and the noble hop element.
M - Light on the palate, crisp in carbonation, very little lnger.
O - Solid, I am glad to have some more to spend time with.

 474 characters

Photo of trishhart
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the first Pilsner I have had in a long time. Color is clear and yellow. You smell good and spices right away. Taste is pretty good. You get a heavy malt and bitter flavor. Smooth doing down your throat. Defintely recommend if you like Pilsner.

 256 characters

Photo of ZBowden
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear honey with small white head, smells pretzely and slight sulfur with slight toast, tastes of slightly sharp malts with toasty crackeriness, finish is lasting slight bitter, mouthfeel is thin, carbonation is moderate.

 227 characters

Photo of adamhdg
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

As a new comer to beer, I have enjoyed trying different lager and ale varieties. This was my first Pilsner in many years. I found it to possess a beautiful golden color with little head. The smell was hoppy and spicy. The taste was also quite hoppy with lasting spice, grass, and pepper taste(almost like arugula). I found the finish to be refreshing but with a slight drying to my palate. Overall, I enjoyed this reintroduction to the world of pilsners

 453 characters

Photo of akolb
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear honey, with a white head that lowers but stays for the duration and eventually becomes oddly splotchy. The aroma is grassy, cheesy, floral, catty, butterscotch, corn, plastic, and fatty acids. The taste is dry, clean, and malty. Carbonation is low, and the mouthfeel is smooth and astringent with a medium body. Much different from American pilsners. Would buy again.

 379 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2/6/16 Chicago (11.2 Oz Bottle (Best before 6/5/16 date) poured into Flute glass. Bright clear straw blonde colour, heavy immediate carbonation, slowed but steadied after initial pour. Medium white head, no lacing. Pleasant pilsner aroma of bread malt and grassy hops. Crisp clean dry taste, minimal hops, nice bitterness mix. Thin texture offset by solid carbonation mix, easy drinking. Overall good offering and I'll enjoy the rest of the 12 bottles this winter.

 464 characters

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bright dark straw color with moderate activity. Foamy white 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, offering a decent amount of lacing. Flavors of sweet grains, faint caramel and lemon, saaz and noble hops. Low perception of sweetness, but highly sharp with a pleasant bitterness. Slick and smooth medium to full body with prickly carbonation. Light and short finish, lingering grainy notes and some grassy noble hops. Overall good quality craft. Lightly flavored grainy feel, almost nonexistent smell, while the finish offers the most flavors with a nice herbal feel, balanced citrus, and a very faint skunky feel. Very fresh and accessible.

 646 characters

Photo of HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I consider this one of my benchmark beers. This is the standard to which I compare all other pilsners because it embodies everything I like about that style. It is light, clear, clean, crisp, and smooth. Just enough hops to give a bold show up front, perfectly balancing the light malt character that follows. While the skunking that will occur in any green-bottled beer exposed to light is often cited as a flaw, I actually enjoy the light skunking that usually accompanies a Pilsner Urquell (and a handful of other lagers). As a point of reference, the skunkiness seems less prominent in this beer than in a Grolsch or a Heineken.

 637 characters

Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Look, is there a clearer beer out there? Poured out of a can into Pils glass. 3 finger head that quickly disappears. Peppery, yeasty, aroma. Clean light taste, slightly bitter, not terribly so. Buttery taste. Carbonated mouthfeel, refreshing for sure. Overall, quality lager.

 275 characters

Photo of floridadrift
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have killed many of these.

L: Golden, white head
S: Hops and bitterness
T: Citrus, bitter light beer taste, grass, floral notes
F: Super light, easy to drink
O: Crushable at any basic beer fest

 196 characters

Photo of AJ_S
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden-yellow color and very slow carbonation leave the beer "decapitated" (because it doesn't have a head? See what i did there?) Some of the bubbles hang around at the top, though.

As many others have said, I too found the beer to have water-like qualities. The bubbles, while visually unassuming, last deceptively long on the tongue.

In terms of both smell and taste, it's crisp and clean and finishes dry and with a distant hop bitterness. This is by far one of the most drinkable lagers I've encountered, and one I'd most likely drink in social situations as opposed to a meal.

 584 characters

Photo of demon
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Crystal clear straw color. Thin head that faded away quickly.
S: Little skunky at first sniff, but nice and hoppy smell
T: This one is very subtle. The flavors feel very two dimensional. Light malt flavors followed by a lingering hop taste.
F: The beer is as smooth and drinkable as can be. Almost feels like water.
O: Overall, I get the appeal of this beer. It is a really nice, highly drinkable, unoffensive beer. It doesnt have any singing unique characteristics IMO, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. As far as representing the Czech pilsener lager style, this is a great beer. Appears to be a bit overrated in my eyes though.

 629 characters

Photo of Samlover55
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

bb 7/5/16
11.2 oz bttle poured into BL glass
L- dark gold in color, clear thin soapy head
S- fermented fruit aroma
T- not too much malt, fruity yeasty taste, with slight hop finish
F- crisp with creamy feel feels very clean (famously so)
O- while more flavor than the AAls i'm used to, was hoping for more malt character

 321 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL can into a tall glass a gold/straw colour, visible effervescence and minimal chill-haze. Lots of frothy head that recedes quickly to rings but leaves solid lacing.

Smell is herbal, grassy, hay, slightly buttery. Yeasty. Light crackery/bready/biscuity pale malt. Faint pepper. Bitter citrus rind and green vegetables. Taste is more of the same: initial sweetness balanced by light bittering hops, vegetal and herbal, hay, grassy. Again a bit of butter, yeast, bread/biscuit. The hopping is the star of the show, even if it is a subtle hopping: noble aromatics and taste here, gentle bitterness, light spiciness/pepper. Moderate carbonation and light--but not watery--mouthfeel. Herbal, vegetal aftertaste. You could argue the "butter" here is an off-note (diacetyl), but it actually works in the context of the brew.

Critics be damned: this is as good a standard-bearer for the style as any. Refreshing, crisp, clean: I'm a fan of this one, especially when you can obtain it from cans or brown bottles (and relatively fresh). A great, balanced, elegant brew.

 1,077 characters

Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.63 out of 5 based on 3,668 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!