Original Helles
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Original HellesOriginal Helles
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Style:
Lager - Helles
Ranked #4
ABV:
5.1%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,999
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 11.89%
Reviews:
992
Ratings:
2,563
From:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  203
Gots
  483
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: 992 | Ratings: 2,563 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by OldManMetal:
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OldManMetal from North Carolina

4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what a lager should look like: a crystal-clear, sparkling pale-straw body with a medium white cream-and-pebbles head that leaves lots of beautiful lacing everywhere. The nose is sweet and malty, green grapes and alcohol with hints of darker fruit and fennel. The palate is malty as well, deep and smooth with prominent grassy and herbal notes, but nicely balanced by a citrus-rind bitterness. The finish is a smooth, sublime blend of malty sweetness and bitter rind that lingers on and on. The fizzy carbonation sets the light body up for a creamy, prickly mouthfeel that is both drinkable and interesting. (11.2 oz bottle, 144 days after pkg.)

Jun 30, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of gregb13
gregb13 from California

4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The quintessential German lager. Had several times but felt compelled to praise it tonight in review form, after I'd sampled it out on the patio after a long day.

Aroma - grassy, a little pungent, very inviting.

Taste/feel - so clean, lightly sweet, a little bitterness, goes down so so smooth.

If it gets any better than this, I've not found it.

May 30, 2015
Photo of panduji
panduji from Florida

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exceptional example of a Munich Helles Lager. The best there is IMHO. I'm an avid home brewer and have been trying to replicate this beer right down to the water chemistry for quite some time. No dice yet!

Crystal clear pale in color.
High carbonation level
Barely detectable hop aroma and flavor
Smells like a biscuit out of the oven
Tastes very slightly malty and bready with a very clean finish

It's perfect!

Aug 23, 2015
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz sleek euro brown bottle with the boasting words “Oldest Brewery in the World” on the label, freshness date is on the back label.

Appearance: Very hazy from the yeast with a pale yellow hue, varied bubbled white lace that holds a great retention and stays until he beer is gone.

Smell: Very mild lemon astringent aroma and a light cookie like malt sweetness with a trace of hops also in the nose.

Taste: Well structured and rounded carbonation cradles the delicate light to medium body, the clean hop bitterness is evident with a soft lemon like twang. Malt flavour is similar to a lightly baked biscuit from fresh milled malted grain. Both hops and malt meld together to form a perfect blend, yeast complements by adding a touch of nuttiness. Light feel of alcohol towards the end with the lingering effects of the malt, yeast and a long drawn out faded hops finish.

Notes: A lager in the raw, in its authentic natural form. This is the quintessential lager in the world. Bow down to the true lager and you will be one with beer. This is the best of the best hands down.

Dec 30, 2000
Photo of BradtheGreat7
BradtheGreat7 from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely 1 pint plus 0.9oz German style brown bottle. Beautiful weihenstephaner label stating 'Original Helles' though I've had the same brew marked original premium in the past. Poured into a Weihenstephaner glass.

A - faint yellow golden. Much like 24k gold. Just a brilliant bright look with superb clarity and a white head leaving ood stick.

S - bright lemon with a faint hint of fresh grass. Doughy, breaded malt valances well with a slight hint of sweetness and crisp clean hops.

T - lemon, grass, fresh fruity hops, a nice sweet biscuit malt and some faint spices balancing out a near perfect finish.

M - smooth and highly approachable lager. Texture has a ridiculously balanced feel allowing me to drink it all day. Finish is crisp and refreshing but never losing its beautiful flavor.

O - ahh.. the often overlooked Weihenstephaner.. It's an absolute genuine treat. This German lager is as it should be, beautiful and approachable allowing anyone to appreciate it's grand, unprecedented character. The Weihenstephan Premium oozes class and is a must try for any craft beer drinker as well as those who want to sample one of the world's actual great lagers.

Mar 20, 2017
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hoppytobehere from District of Columbia

4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of the best lagers I've ever had. Weihenstephaner never disappoints. Glad this comes in sixers. Slight hop bitterness, smooth cereal malt tones. Refreshing as hell.

Jul 10, 2015
Photo of Kubishark
Kubishark from Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It's good. It's more than good. Beautiful light golden yellow with a very slight head. Smells like rich malts and slightly grassy and spicy, yeasty too. Tastes like fresh sourdough bread, the absolute cleanest and crispest of lagers, as all Weihenstephaner beers are. Has an almost creamy mouthfeel and the perfect body to be quite drinkable. Perfect as a one off pairing with a meal or as one of a few in a session. Overall one of my favorites, perhaps my second favorite Weihenstaphaner offering after their Kristallweissebier.

Nov 11, 2016
Photo of Nickholland
Nickholland from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is what a lager should taste/look like. Yeasty/bready flavor/smell with a hint of lavender? and a light hop balance. Delicate, creamy and goes down easy. This is one elegant beer. What Heineken wishes it could be. One of my top 3 lager/pilsners and I've had many.

May 27, 2015
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mobrado from California

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let's be honest, if you don't like this beer, you don't really like... beer. As clean and as drinkable as humanly possible. Hard to imagine how this could be improved upon.

May 29, 2016
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BayernMunchen3113 from Nebraska

4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Been brewing since 1040... Yes, I think they have the brewing process down! Weihenstephaner is THE standard.

Jun 14, 2015
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

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

A: clear pale gold and a couple of fingers of ivory head; sparse lace left behind

S: grassy, grainy, flowery fields; some bread and yeast...

T: crisp and clean drinking pale grains; hints at grasses and hay; something citric, maybe lemony; something herbal and rustic, too

M: lean and tight, crisp and clean-drinking, moderate bitterness, smooth and light-bodied

O: what I presume to be exemplary of the style, rounded off by my lack of familiarity thereof, presents as an easy-drinkin' beer, session-able and light, with a stable of core flavor elements

Jul 30, 2014
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rate this as my favorite lager in the world,incredible fruity aroma and taste.Not a wimpy beer by any stretch,the house yeast imparts a great floral-fruity aroma,love this beer in any form but am crazy about it on tapT.Weihenstaphan is one of the great breweries in the world for a reason.

Feb 01, 2003
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2 11.2 oz bottles poured into a giant German mug that is capable of holding 2 bottles of beer.

Appearance
Crystal clear straw yellow. 1 finger of rich foamy white head. Light carbonation.

Nose
Cracker, honey, hay, and a noble grassiness.

Taste
Lightly sweet balance of cracker and honey malts. Touch of grassy / earthy hops. A hint of hay.

Mouthfeel
Light bodied, crisp, clean, and refreshing.

Overall
Balanced by the Gods. Brewed by uber-men. A perfect Helles Lager.

May 08, 2018
Photo of FriedSlug
FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light gold and clear liquid with a fizzy and fleeting white head. A few bits of lacing hang around after. The aroma is yeasty, malty, grainy and sweet with some bright notes like lemon and herbal hops. The taste is sweet and grainy with a decent amount of hops and lemon. This is just a classic and simple beer that is done amazingly well.

Jul 30, 2017
Photo of bankboy66
bankboy66 from New Jersey

4.76/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like someone else previously said....if you don't like this, you don't like beer. Pretty much what every brewer wants to be for this style. The only downside is it is on the heavy side. It won't be a permanent fixture in my fridge but I will drink this periodically until I die. Must try.

Sep 13, 2016
Photo of nobledust
nobledust from New York

4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: the prettiest pilsner of them all.

S: skunk, I've had it before but maybe it was just this bottle. Malts, fresh white bread

T: clean, bread, a little bitter/skunk. The quintessential lager in my book.

F: great carbonation, creamy. 5/5

O: a must have.

Oct 12, 2016
Photo of Jbbdrinker
Jbbdrinker from Texas

4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was seven months old, but still held up very well. Helles is one of my favorite styles of brew and there are a lot of great offerings, especially local craft breweries. That being said, this is like the poster child of what a tasty beer can be. Thick, fading head and a subtle, balanced fragrance. The color is interesting. It's just south of amber with shades of orange. The flavor is of spiced malt and resinous hops. The brew has medium carbination and a sweet and tart aftertaste that leaves me craving more.

Apr 06, 2018
Photo of Vidblain
Vidblain from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is absolutely a new favorite of mine - I've been loving everything I've tried of Weihenstephaner's. It's a revelation to find a German beer in the 'States that I really enjoy. I have zero reservations about this beer - it's just a lovely sweet, rich, delicious lager. Fantastic.

Sep 08, 2017
Photo of joe1510
joe1510 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle
$3.49
Binny's Montgomery, IL

Weihenstephaner's Original is one of the better looking beers that I have seen in a while. The 24kt gold body absolutely glows in the glass. Clarity is at or near 100% while singular, large bubbles mosey to the surface. The foam is soapy and craggy after easily forming on the pour. A finger plus of clean white crown. When you think of of "beer" this is the beer that you are picturing in your head.

The nose is clean and crisp with a near perfect roundness. Fresh cracked grain starts it off and is the main driving force. A soft sweetness adds some depth before a well rounded floral note wraps it up. That floral quality is met with a faint herbalness and a squeeze of lemon. My mouth is watering.

The flavor is exactly as the nose described. It's freshly plucked and cracked grain off the bat. A soft cereal grain sweetness pops up in the middle with that soft, complimentary floral hoppiness. A squeeze of lemon brightens up the finish. This beer has the perfect balance and it so well rounded and soft that it's a pure joy to drink.

The body sits squarely between light and moderate. There is a plushness present that is almost unrivaled. Carbonation is undetectable, you can tell it's there by the movement but not by the feel. It's an incredibly soft beer. Drinkability is off the charts high.

Weihenstephaner Original is one of the better beers I have had in a long time. I had forgotten the greatness of this beverage over the years. It's plush, clean, crisp, and all around perfectly well made. While the drinkability is sky high it's best to sit back and slowly enjoy the perfect simplicity of each sip.

Nov 23, 2017
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Clear golden in body with white, frothy head that stays. Aroma of Hop spice, grass, and sweet, honey grain. Tastes of Hop spice, grass, honey grain, some background pear. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Delicate and nuanced in flavor.

Dec 22, 2016
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 NorbertB1974
NorbertB1974 from Germany

4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 08, 2020
Photo of rousee
rousee from Massachusetts

3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe I'm just getting sick of this style cuz I have tried many of them recently. None have really achieved the taste I want, save Paulaner/Hacker Schorr and even these can and should
be much fresher than the ones I am getting.

Pours that gold straw everyone keeps talking about. No murkiness-no head --minimal carbonation -no lace either. Smell is malty, grassy, herby and typical of that Euro-lager type of taste- a small bit of nuttiness too. Taste is almost the same as the smell except it finishes wet on the palate but in a nice way which helps mouthfeel and drinkabilty.Overall, the other brands I mention are better for this style but I would still recommend this one.

Sep 17, 2004
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IlliniRob from Illinois

3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden-yellow hue… looked a bit too much like urine. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass with a tall fluffy head that dissipated quickly. Little lacing. Carbonation evident, but not to champagne levels.

S: Very sweet with a hint of floral hoppiness.

T: Starts off tart, then very sweet, and finishes with a touch of a hoppy bite or metallic tinge.

M: Clean, but a bit overly bubbly/frothy.

D: Very quaffable. Would go well with most food. Good enough beer for its style, but nothing to make me say "wow".

Feb 02, 2007
Photo of Jangles
Jangles from California

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Jun 14, 2013
Original Helles from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2563 ratings