Original Helles
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Original HellesOriginal Helles
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Style:
Lager - Helles
Ranked #4
ABV:
5.1%
Score:
92
Ranked #3,026
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 11.89%
Reviews:
994
Ratings:
2,567
From:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  204
Gots
  485
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: 994 | Ratings: 2,567 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of barnzy78
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
Photo of ilikebeer03
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
Photo of datstankadank
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
Photo of Poops
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
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
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
Photo of JoeMurphy
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
Photo of TheBricenator
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
Photo of ThisWangsChung
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
Photo of DrBeergood
DrBeergood from Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: An easy light gold. Frothy. Lively.

S: Authentic. I can tell it's German because the traditional yeast has a phenol that smells like clove.

T: Tastes great! The ingredients used are mild and the brewer gave them plenty of room to grow and express themselves.

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

O: It's a good wholesome beer. The 500mL bottle is wonderful. It will always have a spot on my shelves.

Jun 28, 2020
Photo of Snowcrash000
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
Photo of BJB13
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
Photo of Steve555
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
Photo of jkblr
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
Photo of detgfrsh
detgfrsh from Texas

4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a half liter bottle. Pours a golden color with pillowy white head. Peppery hop smell. Medium body. Sweet malt flavor with a peppery hop finish. Very smooth. Great all-around!

May 24, 2020
Photo of JMich
JMich

3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Quite nice! Low bitterness, good color. Very much in the spirit of 'beer is liquid bread' - malty/bready, very little bitterness. Interestingly, one that was 20 weeks post bottling was far better than one at 180 weeks. Seems sensitive to aging.

May 24, 2020
Photo of Hatchjaw
Hatchjaw from Washington

4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Well deserves the high ranking, about as close as you can get to cramming Bavaria down your throat without being some planet-devouring monster named Slactor, Flayer of Worlds.

May 20, 2020
Photo of Troy-Hawaii
Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a single 16.9 oz bottle Tamuras $4.29
Light malt smell
Clear golden color
Medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Sweet malts, a tinge of bitterness
Overall a great beer. This is what beer should taste like. Would buy again.

May 17, 2020
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a small white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading, leaving a tiny bit of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is quite strong of a grainy and bready smell mixed with aromas of some light caramel and hay smells. Along with these smells comes a little bit of a herbal smell as well as a touch of light fruit.
Taste – The taste begins with a very nice caramel sweet and bready taste that has a touch of graininess mixed within. There is some light harvest fruits in there upfront, which seem to dwindle as the taste advances. All the while some tastes of a grassy and hay like nature come to the tongue. Toward the end the caramel fades a bit all while some cracker malt and a bit of herbal hop comes to the tongue, leaving one with a nice flavorful and crisp taste to liner on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is medium in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. A slightly thinner body may have been slightly better overall, but all in all, the feel made for a easy sipping and quite flavorful brew.
Overall – A very nice, flavorful, and quite easy drinking Helles!! Tradition has well crafted this one!

May 11, 2020
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

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

Bottle. Large white head with nice retention and lace. Clear golden straw yellow.

Grassy, biscuity, and a bit floral. Crisp, clean, smooth. Light bodied. Clean finish. Refreshing.

May 09, 2020
Photo of OK_Denise
OK_Denise from Oklahoma

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I mostly like this beer, I think it is an above average for its style. Is it super awesome, well....I can't say that. I liked it a lot though. I will drink it again for sure.

Apr 19, 2020
Photo of jonb5
jonb5 from England

4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very bright yellow colour, decent sized head, clear.

S: Tettenanger hops gave a fruity aroma reminiscent of tomatoes.

T: Tangy fruity sharpness was balanced out by some malty sweetness.

M: Light body, low carbonation.

O: Years of brewing expertise was noticeable, well made beer which is a standard bearer for the style.

Apr 13, 2020
Photo of C-Stockwell
C-Stockwell from Rhode Island

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: rich gold with white head
S: toast, malt, and light pepper spice
T: hops spice, a faint banana-like sweetness, or maybe molasses sweetness
F: a bit watery but not bad at all

This beer goes exceedingly well with fried foods and game meat. This would be on the top of my list for pairing with say venison sausage. Does a great job of cleansing the palate during a meal. Probably the epitome and exemplar of what a Helles beer should be.

Apr 09, 2020
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this from a bottle, the color was a clear golden yellow, with a solid thick head retention.

The impression I got overall from this beer was balanced and drinkable with a slight preference towards malty sweetness. The aromas and tastes weren't pulling strongly in any particular direction, as I felt that the flavor components of the bread-y malts, lightly citrus-y hops, and the subtle hint of spicy yeast all played a role in making this a highly drinkable and balanced beer. This can obviously be a good or bad thing for some, and I can see people feeling like this beer is kind of forgettable.

The light to medium body of this beer, with a crisp and clean finish obviously contributes highly to my perceived drink-ability of this beer. Overall, a very solid and balanced beer, I can see this going well with some mild sausages!

Apr 08, 2020
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a clear golden yellow color, with a big fluffy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like doughy and just slightly sweet malt, spicy hops, minerally yeastiness, etc.

This is very light, but still suprisingly complex, and very well brewed. There's some floral and spicy/herbal hop character up front, along with a doughy, slightly honey-like, and very bready middle section, and a crisp and just slightly herbal and minerally finish, seems to come from the yeast.

This is crisp and very clean, with a fantastic drinkability to it, and a very smooth finish.

I can't believe I've never actually had this one before - it's really quite wonderful.

Mar 03, 2020
Photo of Mugman8
Mugman8 from New York

4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold on the pour with a slight head but ample lacing. Has a nice, mild hoppy note and a slightly spicy taste with a crisp finish. A fine, light lager in the Helles style.

Feb 21, 2020
Original Helles from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2567 ratings