Original Helles
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Original HellesOriginal Helles
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - Helles
Ranked #4
ABV:
5.1%
Score:
92
Ranked #3,272
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 11.89%
Reviews:
1,006
Ratings:
2,607
From:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  207
Gots
  492
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Original HellesOriginal Helles
Notes: A good beer takes its time. The long storage makes our yellow bright lager, “Original”, a flavourful beer enjoyed with fine poured, white foam. With a mild hoppy note and its pleasant fresh spicy taste, it goes very well with salads, poultry, stews or with a hearty snack. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.
Reviews: 1,006 | Ratings: 2,607 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NCSapiens
NCSapiens from Indiana

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I guess this is what a lager is supposed to taste like. It’s super clean and easy drinking, with few off-putting flavors. I’m not a Pilsner fan but I would drink this for sure.

Monday at 10:38 PM
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Taste: crisp, bready, lemony, hint of caramel sweet, mellow finish. Wheat cracker, grainy, mellow nose. Bright gold hue, clear, white tall foam head, ringed lace. On the light side in body. 16 IBUs

Jul 12, 2021
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ELS from Florida

4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the best Helles that gets imported to the US. Augustiner is the best but you can’t get the original Helles in the United States. The look and smell are right on with the yellowish, golden color and straw biscuity smell. The taste is very good but misses on the touch of sweetness needed on the back end. The feel makes it drinkable but not the Augustiner drinkability that goes down so smooth.

Jul 01, 2021
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/3/20; drank 6/13/21 @ the Yarchives.

See-through dull orange/yellow appearance.

An even pour yielded a big, bright white head; a thick curtain of lace.

Sweet corn, mild caramel & faint lemon notes in the nose; an underlying yeast smell became more pronounced as this warmed.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Sweet corn & caramel flavors; dry yeast flavors on the finish (clove meets cigarette ash?).

Maybe a bit old to be reviewing from, but this was a bit sweet up front and a bit harsh on the finish. Good, not great.

Jun 14, 2021
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this at home.
Poured from a 16 ounce can into a pint glass.
Best by date 01 23 2022
Today 5/7/2021
Poured from a can Into a pint glass
Looks golden yellow with a nice foamy head that dropped to a thick cap.
Smells lightly bready, floral spicy.
Taste follows the nose nicely with plenty of hop spiciness to keep my interest.
Mouth feel is medium plus for the style with a nice creamy finish.
Overall a example of a Helles that I would definitely drink again.
Cheers!

May 07, 2021
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BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz glass with a freshness date of before 11/19/2021.Beautiful golden appearance with a delicious creamy white head. Decent carbonation. Aroma of grain and floral. Slight noble hops. Taste clean and well balanced a slight hoppy brightness is balanced by a bready maltiness. Refreshing and easy drinking. A true old world classic.

Apr 22, 2021
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fng from Texas

5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My only complaint about this beer is that I can't find a place in the Houston area where I can get it by the keg. I have gotten kegs of the pilsner version or I can settle for a keg of Hofbraü Original. Weihenstephaner Original is a lightly hopped, malted barley, (and water) lager. I don't know what hops are used, but they are either very subtle or used sparingly.
Look: It has a light golden color with a white head, nice lacing. I don't think it could look any better, so a 5 rating.
Smell: very subtle - the malted barley earthy grass smell is barely there. Just right smell, so again a 5 rating.
Taste: a lightly hopped beer made per the Reinheitsgebot - I haven't found a Helles Lager that taste better, so again a 5.
Feel: I'm not sure about the "feel" rating. Carbonation is middle of the range. Does not feel watery; is that body? certainly not low calorie so there is plenty of beer in this beer. I'm not knocking off any points for my ignorance of the definition of feel, so again my rating is 5.
Overall: This is my favorite beer of all beer types - but just to make sure I haven't become a fanboy I occasionally buy several six packs of different brands and do some taste testing. One beer I haven't found and would love to compare is Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier - so of the beers I can find, Weihenstephaner Original, is my favorite, therefore overall a 5.

Apr 01, 2021
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barneyrubble from Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- 1F White head 100% transparent Golden yellow.

N- Yeast, baked white bread

T-Bread, soft and lime mineral tang, less sweet and slick than Hofbrau. More hop bitters yet still light.

M- Smooth, slick and and a bit cloying on finish. Chalky on the tip of tongue. Lots of carbonation of fine bubbles.

O- Really liking German Helles. More refined and less pizza dough yeasty than Wibby Lightshine Helles. Repeat buy.

Mar 12, 2021
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, the date code is unclear

crystal clear straw yellow color, thick foamy bone-white colored head. aroma and flavor is crackery pale malt, crisp and clean. Just a touch of sweetness, a little earthy hop to balance. thinner bodied, easy drinking

Mar 02, 2021
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fptan from Tennessee

3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pale yellow, very minimal head, absolutely clear
Aroma: Mostly grainy/slightly sweet malt. Very slight amount of noble hops hit the nose upon warming up a bit.
Flavor: Nicely balanced malt and firm bitterness. Seems to be at the higher end of the range for bitterness, which is fine. base malt really shines through to retro-nasal flavors. Slight bit of sulfur would be the only fermentation characteristic I can sense. No late hop character in this [possibly due to this being imported, thus not fresh]. No sweetness in the flavor- mostly that resides in the aroma, alone.
Mouthfeel: Dry, moderate carbonation.
Overall: Really good beer, not too complex- delicate balance of flavors.

Feb 22, 2021
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Mortal_Wombat from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a clear gold with a fluffy white head with rocky bubble pockets.

Smell: Biscuity with some grassy aroma up front. Very mild smell.

Taste: Munich malt and the biscuit up front. A bit of spice midway through with the hops and finishes with a light cracker taste.

Feel: Has a nice, moderate body to it with some nice carbonation to give it some pop and a smooth and clean finish.

Overall: One of the best examples of the style that's readily available. A very easy drinking beer.

Feb 04, 2021
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, the intelligent importers of Weihenstephan beers label the "Original Helles" as "Original Premium" in the USA. Despite that, I will evaluate this as a Helles. From the bottle, it pours a clean golden color with a modest white head that sticks around for awhile. In the nose, it is clean, with a nice bready malt scent. In the mouth, it has a light bite from the carbonation, a touch of the hops, and the nice malt base. Easy drinking - too easy!

Dec 14, 2020
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle; last reviewed 2009 - time for a revisit
L: crystal clear golden; tall & foamy white hair
S: grassy & spicy hops, pale biscuity grain
T: biscuity pale malt, nutty Munich malt; spicy, earthy, grassy hops with a touch of citrus
F: medium body, super smooth, balanced finish is slightly dry
O: I forgot how good this one is. One of my favorite breweries.

Nov 21, 2020
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pour is a brilliantly clear straw yellow. thick, rocky cap of chalk white foam rests atop. excellent retention. good lacing.
nose is a touch of grassy hops, bready, doughy grain, cracker.
clean and crisp with a lingering straw / bready cracker.
Excellent Helles. You'd expect nothing less from such a great brewery.

Nov 15, 2020
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datstankadank from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear golden, smell is biscuit, pepper, light fruitt ester. Taste follows to the tee. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, as clean as beer comes. Benchmark helles.

Nov 09, 2020
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Poops from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Grassy, biscuit, floral hops, incredibly smooth. Extremely refreshing. The best Helles I've ever had, and it's a darn shame they don't sell them in cheaper 12 packs. Would be a daily go to if so.

Oct 22, 2020
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes I had it some days ago

I was sitting in my backyard and it was hot. The flavor was bread, white bread, with some grassy hops at the end. It felt a bit watery to me but I know it is not. I just don't drink that many Lagers anymore.

Look: clear yellow with a thick white head

Aroma: bread, some grassy hops

Taste: white bread, with some grassy hops at the end

Overall: light, crisp very drinkable in the heat, and a very good lager

Oct 16, 2020
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JoeMurphy from Tennessee

4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden, clear; white head that dissipates into a thin layer of foam and leaves nice spotty lacing.

Aroma: Very mild; a faint hint of generalized grain; soda cracker; grassiness.

Taste: same as the aroma, but more pronounced, and more emphasis on the grassiness. A little sourdough tanginess.

Mouthfeel/Finish: light-medium, crisp, clean, dry, refreshing.

Aug 28, 2020
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TheBricenator from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear straw yellow with a nice billowing head that leaves great lacing behind as it recedes – a gorgeous looking beer
Aroma: Floral hops, straw, cut grass, pilsner malt, and a little white pepper
Taste: Floral hops and pilsner malt dance onto the palate with straw/cut grass and the white pepper notes following. Cracker-like malt dominates the middle before floral and somewhat grassy hops round out the finish. Much stronger malt presence overall as it warms up too
Mouthfeel: No-nonsense here – super clean, full bodied flavor but light on the tongue. A crisp and lightly dry finish – amazingly drinkable
Overall: Awesome stuff here. Sadly, this was one of the last beers I ever tried from their core lineup but now purchase semi-regularly as it is one tasty and borderline flawless helles lager. I dig it and highly recommended

Aug 06, 2020
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a stunning golden color, with two fingers of white-colored head. The aroma is classic helles lager - it's a bit nutty, a bit sweet, with just a grassy, earthen flourish. This is such a simple beer, yet its aroma comes across with perfect cohesion and balance. The flavor almost exactly follows the nose: it starts and finishes with a mild malt sweetness, with a faint expression of grassy hops swirling around. As simple as can be, yet unbelievably delicate, nuanced, and refined. This isn't a beer meant for sampling an ounce or two with a group of shitlords who still regularly quote Anchorman in the year of our lord 2020. No, this is a beer meant for drinking. Period.

There are certain beers where you can't describe in a two thousand word review why it's fantastic, but you know it just is. This is one of those offerings. I'm sure there might be a few obscure Munich helles lagers brewed in small German hamlets even better than this, but make no mistake: this is the best readily available helles lager you can buy in America right now.

Jul 31, 2020
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DrBeergood from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: An easy light gold. Frothy. Lively.

S: Authentic. The yeast smell of clove and the brew is faintly hopped.

T: Tastes great! The ingredients used are mild and the brewer gave them plenty of room to express themselves. Older bottles are a touch more skunky as the hops break down--It's still great past it's best by.

F: The malt is buttery, smooth, and delightful. A faint Munich Helles flavor and grassy hops leave a semi-dry finish.

O: Beer is good.

Jun 28, 2020
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear, golden coloration with a large, fluffy and visible carbonation. Smells of biscuity, slightly grainy malt and grassy, slightly floral hops. Taste is a great balance of sweet'ish biscuity, slightly bready and grainy malt and grassy, slightly floral hops, with a hint of hay coming through as well. Finishes quite crisp, with a light/medium bitterness and some biscuity, bready malt and grassy, floral hops lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and medium/strong carbonation.

This is quite a crisp and clean Helles with a great balance of sweet'ish malts and grassy/floral hops, finishing with a good bitterness. A very nice, easy-drinking example of the style, but a little too sweet and floral for my personal taste.

Jun 23, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle poured into a narrow mug.
Bottled 3/7/20

A fairly clean and crisp, easy drinking medium weight lager that is now my benchmark for the style. It's very good and worth giving a try if you can find a relatively fresh bottle.

Jun 15, 2020
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Steve555 from Wales

4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Slightly darker than some helles beers. Faint smell of grass in the nose. Taste is malty with a hint of lemon and peppery hops. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and easily digestible. Great after hard work or a session at the gym. Goes down in a shot. A favourite easy drinking beer.

Jun 08, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottled 6459 (45th week of 2019 - about 7 months old) poured into a becher glass at fridge temp 5.1% ABV. The beer pours straw to light gold in color with off white head. The head recedes to a thin ring and single layer of bubbles. The aroma is faint with pils malt and grassy floral hops. The taste is semisweet pale malt with a touch of noble hop flavor and bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with average carbonation and a dry finish. No flaws and no ill effects from the age outside of the flavor and aroma being muted. Overall, good. Could be outstanding fresh, but I'll probably never know.

May 29, 2020
Original Helles from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2607 ratings