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: 1,452 | Ratings: 3,711
Photo of HerbGuy42
5/5  rDev +37.4%
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.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of floridadrift
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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Photo of AJ_S
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of demon
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.07/5  rDev -15.7%
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

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

L - bright straw color with clear hue. Thick bubbly head. No lacing.

S - light bread malts. Touch of lemon. Lager yeast seems to dominate.

T - kind of neutral taste. Light malt taste with little to no hop bite to it. Bit of a dry taste to it.

F - extremely drinkable. Thin body like water. Exceptionally refreshing

O - it is a very good beer, but way better than other imports. My ancestors are actually from Bohemia so this beer is special to me. It is an authentic product so the macro prejudice is obsolete. Cheers!

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Photo of JLaw55
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see why this beer has such a great reputation. This is a very nice, tasty pilsner. Some would even say it is the quintessential pilsner. Nice grainy malt profile, with a crisp finish from the hops. Not too dry, not too sweet. Very refreshing and drinkable.

Would drink again: Yes
Would purchase again: Yes

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Photo of MedaryvilleEscapee
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Should be rated higher than it is. Clean yet earthy taste, with a buttery note at the end. Fantastic with New Mexican food and chiles. Very complex for its style. The original is still the best.

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Photo of stevoj
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Toom Getrankemarkt-Landstuhl. A classic Bohemian pilsener. Crystal clear with creamy head, active carbonation. Taste of hay with just the right amount of hop bitterness.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a crystal clear light golden color with a two finger frothy white head. It eventually fades into a thin cap and leaves thin sheets of lacing. Smell is that of a typical pilsner, bready malt with some grassy and spicy hop notes. Taste is the same with moderate bitterness. Feel is light and somewhat creamy, a bit odd for a pilsner. Overall this is a solid beer, but not great. Not a huge fan of pilsners in general, but there are plenty of better ones out there.

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Photo of Dravin
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 0.5 l can into a pilsner glass. Best by date is JN.08.15.

Look -- Pours a straw color with 2 fingers of quickly dissipating loose head. No lacing to speak of.

Smell -- Herbal/grassy hops and biscuity malt along with diacetyl.

Taste -- Like the nose, biscuity malt give light sweetness, herbal/grassy hops with a hint of spiciness, and diacetyl. Pleasant light bitterness.

Feel -- Good carbonation and light body leave the beer crisp and clean on the palate.

Overall -- A pleasant enough light and refreshing pilsner. I'm not a big fan of the diacetyl even though I understand it's characteristic of the beer. I'm not sure just how much of the diacetyl I'm tasting and smelling is intended by the brewer and how much is a consequence of handling. The beer is in code however so I'm just rating it straight.

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Photo of adroc
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Medium bready malt aroma. No hop aroma or esters present.

Appearance: Very light crystal clear gold color with nice white head. Head on mine faded fairly quickly.

Flavor: Bready maltiness with spicy hop flavor in the foreground. Lingering hop bitterness in the end with a slight dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to low carbonation along with some creaminess at the end.

Overall: Very easy clean beer to drink with a nice balance between the hops and malt but could use some more hop aroma.

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Photo of bwood06
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

400mL bottle into a pilsner glass

A - Clear golden beer in color with moderate carbonation rising at a moderate pace towards the surface of the beer. Pours a 2 finger white head that is retained surprisingly well throughout the tasting. Head is frothy in nature. 3.75/5

S - More malty than most other pilsners that I have smelled with this one also featuring a bit of peppery spiciness and butteriness. Clean, grassy hops form the hop bill that complements the light malt. 3.75/5

T - The front portion of the tasting is light malt along with buttered white bread. This transitions into a peppery spiciness (light note on the palate) with the malt slowly disappearing from view. Beer finishes slightly bitter with grassy hops. This bitterness lingers slightly but is gone by the time of the next sip. 3.75/5

M - Light to medium bodied. A bit more heavy than most pilsners. This beer actually maintains a bit of a creaminess rather than the typical light, crisp, wateriness that many pilsners feature. Mouthfeel lingers on palate despite the dryness, which is a fairly light dryness, not really lingering at all. 3.75/5

O - One of the best and most interesting pilsners that I've had. Really rather flavorful, especially with the butteriness to the malt and the peppery spiciness. Decent hop bill complements and balances the malt. 3.75/5

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle poured into a Becher glass.

a: Clear, golden body. 2 finger white head.

s: Light malts, hay like hop presence.

t: Crisp malts and a mild bitter hop finished.

mf: Good carbonation, light body.

o: I use to drink a lot of this. It was my favorite beer at one point so many years ago. It is exactly what I remember but my tastes have changed. I still like the beer but the sulfery presence has become overwhelming for me.

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

Nice, dry finish. Appropriate choice when you want a good attendant for eating pizza of another trash food during a chillout session after a difficult week. I like it, good pilsner.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Got this one on discount at our local Total Wine store because it was dated two weeks before its best buy date. I really do not want to write a lot on this one. I got two different four packs of tall cans for me and the wife. And every one was poured into a perfect pilsner glass. And every damn one was skunked! I do not know how this could have skunked in a can but it was not a very pleasant experience. I really think if this was not skunked I may have enjoyed it.

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Photo of cb500rider
1.99/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

I have thought about trying this for years, but when I heard it was the pattern for Bud Heavy, I became resistant. Saw it in my local Publix today (they don't usually stock it) and thought "WTH".

The beer looks great, for a pilsner. It has one inch of head when poorer into a Sam Adams tulip glass, withe lacing still after 15 minutes.

The aroma is of malt and vinegar, as is the taste.perfect beer for fish and chips, blah-blah any other time. I would have done better with Miller Lite at 2/3 the price.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not too bad. There's a little bit of a sweetness to it that comes out as you keep drinking it. In terms of how mild it is, it's on a level of a Japanese ricer beer.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pilsner glass. The color is a golden-yellow with a very small white head and minimal lacing. It really doesn't have much of an aroma: a little yeast, a little straw. The taste reminds me of white bread with some hops and spice. There is also a little touch of caramel sweetness. This is a very easy drinking pilsner with a low ABV. It is better on draught than out of the bottle. I could see sitting in an outdoor cafe in Prague or another european city, drinking a few of these, and watching the world pass by.

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Photo of AirBob
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

About 1 inch of dense white head. Tons of visible carbonation. Great lacing and ok retention. Clear golden straw body.

Grassy. Hay. Bread yeast.

Grassy. Slightly floral and spicy. Bready. A little apple.

Medium bodied. Dry, clean finish.

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Photo of matcris
4.58/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Rated for/within this style.
LOOK: Crystal clear, golden, small bubbles streaming up the glass. Pours a quickly receding white head. Slight lacing down the glass.
AROMA: The hops stand out to me and I would describe them as grassy and very corn husk-like. A little toasted bread. Nice, full, robust aroma for a lager.
TASTE: Toast, Grassy, corn husk, peppery.
MOUTH FEEL: Dryness at the very end, smooth, nice carbonation helps bring out the flavor.
OVERALL: This would be a beer to give to a BMC fan for that first step to bigger flavors. VERY refreshing brew.

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Photo of Spike
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Dark gold with plenty of carbonation and a short-lived, foamy, white head.

S: Grains plus a little lemon. Nothing special. Nothing unpleasant.

T: Semi-sweet, biscuity, pilsener flavours with a lemony finish. Light hoppy bitterness. Something metallic in there as well.

F: Clean, sharp, dry, rounded and bitter with moderate carbonation.

L: Dry, rich pilsener. One of the better offerings in SABMiller's stable of brands.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to trying this one. This beer has an obvious love/hate relationship, especially considering who owns it now, but I always wanted to give it a shot.

Pours a pure yellow color with a decent white head. No lacing.

The aroma is the weakest link here. It's a bit skunky and just the faintest hint of buttery, doughy malt. Hops are there but extremely subtle.

The taste is very malt-forward. A bit subtle and a bit watery, but not unpleasant. Very crisp and refreshing, however.

The feel is light bodied with pretty high carbonation carbonation. Alcohol is not present because duh! Crisp as a pils should be. Refreshing as a pils should be. Not much else going on.

Overall, a pretty decent pilsener. The price is really the best part about the beer so if I need something with alcohol in it on a hot summer day then I will definitely look at this as an option.

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Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
3.64 out of 5 based on 3,711 ratings.
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