Pilsner Urquell | Plzeňský Prazdroj

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Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell
4,057 Ratings
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj
Czech Republic

Style: Bohemian Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
While most lagers give away most of their taste profile in the front of the mouth, Pilsner Urquell only hints at its flavour there. Instead, it develops in the middle, followed by a refreshing, clean finish and balanced aftertaste, practically inviting you to have another.

Added by Bitterbill on 09-10-2000

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,057 |  Reviews: 1,546
Photo of putnam
4.69/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Toasty malt and fragrant, fresh hops greet the nose. One cool draw of the liquid, with eyes closed, and images appear of Czech kids harvesting hops and little kernels of barley roasting, ripening in the sun, storing sugar for the winter.The flavor of buttered, slightly burned toast is the most prominent and enduring. Caramel sundae richness threatens to make it sweet but is continuously smothered by the folds of hop resin, burned toast and young-person's sweat. This is what I call an "all-day-er," meaning you can start drinking it in the morning and continue all day.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pilsner Urquell pours a dark golden amber from a 1 Pt., 6.3 fl. oz. bottle. The light tannish head forms nicely at about two fingers then fades to a light cover of bubbles and a well defined ring.

Nose is mostly malt with a slight fragrance of hops but not floral kind. Palate is a good amount of malt and wood barrel.

“Pilsner Urquel brewed in Plizen, Czech. The original pilsner” is one Beer that you should not go through life with out at least trying once. A great example of style, in fact the first of its style.

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Photo of Dogbrick
1.06/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Quote from my fiancee: "Does 'crappy' have one or 2 p's?" That says it all. I think I had a bottle that was exposed to the light too long because the skunk smell was literally unbearable. Whatever positives in the flavor were drowned out by the horrid stench. I will have to try this one again sometime...

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Photo of ryanocerus
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very drinkable beer and like others have said, the standard that pilsners should be compared to. Poured a dark golden color with very little head (depending on how long it took to get to our table). The aroma was quite hoppy with hints of malt. This was how the initial flavor was also, but as the beer warmed a little, the maltiness came through a little more. Carbonation gave a full mouthfeel. Very good and worth many more repeat samplings.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL can. nice bright golden colour. has a bit of a sweet smell.
the head poured thin and dissipated quickly.
The taste comes on sweet, then fades to a mildly bitter finish.
It's refreshing, but not my thing and not the best pilsner I've had.
still, a good beer.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this one may have gotten a little warm and then cold again, so i am not sure if it was in good shape. however, i remember the first time i had it, and it was pretty good. not too carbonated with a little malty flavoring. my most recent sampling was more bitter than i remembered it to be, but then again, it may have been a little skunked. overall, i would say this is an enjoyable quality pils.

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Photo of JeffreyG
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a personal favorite of mine. It also had a lot to due with me beginning to appreciate truly great beers. I first had this beer while on a trip to the Czech Republic. Upon returning it didn't quite match my memory, but now that I know more about beer that was probably due to the importing process. It still is a very enjoyable beer. Clear golden color and a nice hoppy aroma get my mouth watering. It definately sets the standard for Pilsners. Hoppy at the front and developing to a very refreshing finish. I have read some comments on Pilsner Urquell diminishing in quality, and I myself did mention finding it a little more "special" nearer to it's home, but this is still a fantastic brew.

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Photo of BillyBrew
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nicer golden colour than I remember with a foamy head that quickly turns into a light lace. I am not impressed with the sulphery smell, kind of a turn off. However, the brew tastes much better than the 'stink.' The medium body has a slight, pleasant biting-edge and tastes a bit sweet with a strong, but unobtrusive hoppiness. The beer drinks great with a solid, tastey aftertaste. This beer can stand alone or with any foods. A really strong beer, after all, it is THE Pislner Urquell, but the smell drags my review down. Regardless, enjoy. Cheers!

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very, very good beer. Some people claim of skunk, and while I have been fortunate enough to sample this beer directly from the Czech Republic on one ocassion, this is still one of my favorites. It is light, clean, and very refreshing with a soft and lacy head. This is, by far, one of the most drinkable brews of European origin. Bottoms Up!

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one is hit or miss. Very unpredictable. It used to be one of my favorite beers and now I only have it if there is not much else around. Problem is the green bottle. I have had so many skunk ones. If you get a good one it is a great Pilsner. Much more bitter than the usual. Can have an unusual aftertaste that stays with you for awhile. Great Golden color.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had this one in a while. Used to be a staple back in the late 80's, when I thought this and Becks were "good" biers. Had a favorable golden, clear color, with a fine white head, and good lace. Nose was extremely mild, with faint whiffs of hops somewhere.... Somewhat thin body, but fairly smooth going down. A hint of malt at the outset, kind of bready and/or grainy...but mostly bitter hops present, with a grassiness of sorts.... Long lingering bitter after-taste (became a bit more on the fruity side as it warmed). Not quite the legend it used to be....

overall: 3.5
appearance: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of Longstaff
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep golden color, clean, crisp, and delicious. Great session beer. I like that they offer this in a 12 pack now, the packaging helps keeps the light away from the green bottles.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good pilsener on draught. However, I'll agree with others that it's spotty in the bottle. The color and head are typical for a pilsener, but the smell and taste set it apart from other pils. The Saaz hops have stayed there all these years for a reason. It's a nice, crisp beer that goes down easy.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When served fresh from a light protected source, such as a keg (or at least a bottle that has not seen the light of day), this beer is much better than when it has been sitting in the window of a small liquor store, by far. I liked it even when I could only get old and skunky bottles, but I absolutely love it now that I can get it fresh at the bar or the better liquor stores. The mother of all Pils, this is a unique lager in that it has a medium body, a distinctive spicy flavor and aroma due to the Czech hops and a slight buttery note. It has a pleasantly malty taste. The rich golden hue and permanent head is also a plus. If I had to choose a short list of beers to drink for the rest of my life this would make the final four for sure.

Update: Sadly, I have to report that since I wrote this review last year, I have come across some bottles of PU that were not as good as it used to be. Some of the maltiness and unique flavors described above are much less apparent. I took off some points for this.
--EagleTalon, Aug 4, 2003

Ditto the above, but now in brown glass bottles. No skunkiness. Still enjoy the Saaz character of this iconic brew.
--EagleTalon, Jan 11, 2015

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Photo of DarthMalt
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know what they are thinking with these green-bottle beers. Much like the sulfite burst from a bottle of wine, I usually brace myself when about to open a green-bottle import.

My first experience with Urquell was dismal. I bought a large (20 oz.?) which must have been sitting next to the flourescent light bulb in the fridge of my nearest liquor store for months. I had to dump it, it was so skunked.

Next I tried a 6-pack. Better, but it still had me wondering about the effect of the green glass.

Then, I had the opportunity to try some on-tap. Fabulous! No skunk! It had a strong hop presence, well-developed mouthfeel, and malt profile which can barely be found in the skunked versions. There's still that kooky Saaz hop scent going on, but it is actually welcome, when this beer is fresh.

I plan on trying an unopened case of this soon, but for now,I suggest only drinking it on-tap.

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Photo of marc77
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden in hue and crystal clear topped by an ivory - white head. A touch darker than a German pils. The green bottle always makes Urquell hit or miss, but this bottle was well handled and wasn't skunked. Spicy, refined Saaz hop nose at first, then a pleasantly grainy malt aroma follows. Crisp mouthfeel from the ample carbonation and moderately bodied for a pilsner. Hop bitterness is fairly assertive but very clean and provides a nice contrast to the soft malt backbone and light sweetness. Hop flavor is a touch grassy but not overbearingly so and adds to the complexity of this pilsner. Although a bit lacking in malt body, (unskunked) Urquell is a flavorful and well balanced beer.

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Photo of jackndan
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pilsner Urquell: A classic. Deep golden color, pure white head, absolutely clear. Strong spicy aroma of hops, with faint hints of malt. Nice malt sweetness, with a long bitter/hop aftertaste. Great balance. Very drinkable, and goes great with appetizers.

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Photo of Wildman
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I recently tried this at a party. It is a fairly light beer with a slight skunky smell to it. I found it to not be the most drinkable pilsner I have had.

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Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice yellow/gold color. I had such a bad impression of pilsner's due to their american mass produced counterparts that I thought I was not going to like this, but it pleasantly surprised me. Nice citrus flavors and aromas. Good mouthfeel and a nice finish make for very easily drinkable beer.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold color with very little head an retention. Musty grain smell. Slightly bitter taste with earthy overtones. Quite smooth to the mouth. Slightly sweet finish. I was a little dissappointed in comparison to its top rated status.

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Photo of aracauna
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not too big on Pilsners, but this is drinkable. The color's nice, although perhaps a bit too much bitterness for such an otherwise light flavor. More flavor than a Stella Artois, though.

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Photo of inebrius
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I struggle with the allure of slamming A-B again I must admit this is not the best Pils I've ever had. That being said, If I lived in a Pilsener only world this would be on my top five list. I can only imagine how good this might be, fresh, in the Czech Republic.

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Photo of ADR
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The original, very crisp with an agreeable golden color...bubbly body and a sharp, well-enunciated hop taste. One of the most drinkable of beers. A taste I crave a few times of the year.

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Photo of rastaman
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very, very good pils. Great floral hop nose, pungent taste and well rounded hop bitterness, i just wish they didn't use green bottles coz it skunks easily.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From what my pop told me, I searched & searched again, for this great & powerful taste. Like the past reviews said they must have changed the the way they brew this stuff. Bottom line is it's a little above average to me...But overall a drinkable beer, as they say it's the original Pilsner. Worthy of a shot! Prosit!

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 4,057 ratings