Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Weihenstephaner Original | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
879 Reviews
Weihenstephaner OriginalWeihenstephaner Original

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 12-30-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 2,244
Photo of FosterJM
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

583rd Review on BA
Draft to pint
@la creperie in Chino Hills

App- Slightly lighter gold with moderate bottom up bubbles. Two finger head with nice lines of cling.

Smell- Slightly spicy with lager yeast. A standard smell. Smells good but too in your face.

Taste- I feel after this Im an ale guy. The lager yeast just leaves a flavor I dont enjoy. This is a classic so it is better than most helles. Very lager yeast forward.

Mouth- Medium bodied and almost high carbed. A tad spicy on the finish.

Drink- A german classic and tasty but not my fav style. Glad I reviewed on tap. Tasty but not for me in the future

 615 characters

Photo of rootbeerman
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

A: pours golden, with a almost two finger foamy white head, that laces well.
S: grains, bready light roast malt, light earthy hops.
T: malt slightly sweet, mild hop bitterness and earthiness.
M: crisp and clean.
D: very easy to drink.

 259 characters

Photo of Winter
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light golden in color with a white foamy head. Bready aroma of malt, some grassy hops, feint lemony citrus and just a hint of sea water. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and soft along the edges with carbonation over the middle of the tongue. Refreshing and crisp. The initial taste has a malt graininess to it. Some lemon arrives midway along with some light herbal hop notes. Finish has a spiciness that lingers.

Overall a decent summer drinker, that's light enough to enjoy on a hot day. As a lager it still exhibits a nice clean balance between the malt and hops.

 572 characters

Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***I am reviewing the Original PREMIUM, not just the original***

Pours a transparent, piss yellow color, identical looking to an adjunct lager like Budweiser, but the head has a bit more substance, seems to want to stick around.

In the smell I get skunky characteristics. Wheat malt, earthy yeast, and not much else.

taste is somewhat weak, reminds me a lot of your typical american lager/pilsner, marketed under a foreign name.
grains, light malts, and not much hops.

light bodied, moderate carbonation. crisp and smooth.

Drinkability is very good, as with most lagers. Though I do not feel this particular beer is all that unique enough for me to buy again. Definitely a good german lager, however.

 706 characters

Photo of brendan13
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy pale straw colour with 1" white head. Patchy lacing.
S - Sweet, grainy malt with a slight citrus hop tinge.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with more of a citrus hop touch and some light spice.
M - Crisp and dry mouthfeel, medium body.
D - Nothing remarkable in the smell or taste, just nicely balanced with enough character to make it a highly drinkable beer. Can't wait for the warmer weather to get stuck into more of these.

 450 characters

Photo of magine
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a golden yellow with white fluffy head. Has nice lacing.

The brew smells of sweet malts. Grassy, flowery smells.

The brew has a sweet malty taste. A nice fluffy head starts the creamy mouthfeel. A very light bodied brew. Very clean finish, very nice clean taste.

The brew is extreamly drinkable, and would be gobbled up quickly in a large get together. Nice drinkable brew - which is just what a good session calls for. The only problem with this brew is you can get similar brews for much cheaper if you are looking for a very drinkable party pleaser.

 591 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale yellow (almost the shade of budwieser) with a nice white head that dissapates quickly...pretty average looking lager. Smell is bready malt with a fruity yeast background, wasnt really expecting the fruity, banana like smell from this lager. Taste is pretty standard for a munich helles, very clean palate with a bread-like malt accent and a light fruity banana flavor hiding in the background. The finish is clean and crisp, the mouthfeel is thin and its moderately carbonated. The drinkability is pretty high, this is a somewhat flavorful beer thats extremely drinkable, a pretty good offering from brauerei Weihenstephan but not really up to the standard of their wheat beers.

 697 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very pale straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light grainy malt with a solid and slow devolping earthy noble hop.

The taste consisted of a clean grain and soft doughiness. A slight lemon zest is detected as well. The flavor finishes dry with the help of some noble hop.

The mouthfeel was light and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall a good and drinkable lager. Simple and straightforward.

 476 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's an update to a previously reviewed beer. That one had been skunked. This seems to be far more fresh.

Rocky head with plenty of chunky lace on the glass. Crystal clear with yellow straw color. There's a steady stream of fine bubbles continuously rising.

The smell is a combination of dry-ish malt and raw grain.

The flavor is similar to the smell. The taste is soft with a strong graininess to the tongue. The swallow is chewy malt. The aftertaste is slightly sour. The body is full for the style with a good level of carbonation.

Old review--
Very impressive head--long lasting and rocky as it abates. Nice spotty lace on the glass. Light straw in color and crystal clear.

This appears to have skunked. Behind that, this is a mostly malty smelling brew.

The flavor is an improvement from the smell. It is mostly creamy light malt flavors. Light on the hop, the aftertaste is mostly sour. Very good body for the style with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

I wonder what this would be like fresh--it has all of the makings of a wonderfully subtle and refreshing lager.

 1,085 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at 50 degrees in a pilsener. 6269 indicated on the back label. Poured a bright, translucent yellow with a three inch, frothy bright white head. Head exhibits good retention, revealing delicate cloud-like bands of lacing as it recedes. Light nose - a little grassy and a little skunky. Taste consistent with nose; however, a faint hops presence and also a little bit of grain comes out in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light-bodied with an easy carbonation and a clean finish. Easy drinking and refreshing on a warm day.

 529 characters

Photo of MOB210SA
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty excited to finally try a beer from "The oldest brewery on Earth." I've seen this on shelves but not my usual type of beer I'd buy. I was in the mood I guess when I grabbed 2 different type of German beers. This being one of them. I noticed that on the label it say "Malt Liquor," which I'm sure is just a legal term that is being used, not that it is similar to 211. Since, 1040? Holy S***!

Large pillowy, bone white head that rose very quickly from the regular pour. About four fingers from the pour, died to 2 then stays a nice half finger the rest of the way. After the initial expansion, it settled back to a nice retaining frothy top. Some scattered lacing is present. The beer itself is light golden, almost straw in color. A little further into the glass, more lacing became evident.

The nose is slightly yeasty, with some wheat/oatiness. A little hoppiness, and light malt.

My first sip I noticed a light metallic hoppiness. I say slightly bread-like. I'm not great at picking out flavors on beers like these. I would just compare it to good tasting oaty, health/nutrition bar. Overall, It tastes like a decent, solid beer.

This beer is light not quite medium bodied, so- low, and low carbonation. It makes it super smooth and very drinkable to say the least.

As soon as I took my first couple drinks, I realized this beer goes down super easy. I could easily finish a huge German Stein/mug full. I won't get this again, probably because I want to try their other styles. This was good though, and I would grab one If you see it.

 1,550 characters

Photo of washburnkid
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear yellow and light golden straw. 3+ fingers of frothy white head that retains well and leaves a good deal of lacing.
S: Crisp, clean, musty grains. Grassy, and a bit of a cooked aroma.
T: Honey malt, very grainy and musty from the aroma. Semi-cooked. A crisp and refreshing grassy taste is minor. The emphasis is on the malts, not a ton of hops can hold up to the barley counterpart! There is bitterness left behind.
M: Medium, syrupy body with medium carbonation.
D: I'd have another, but it's hard to choose this one over other Weihenstephaner beers!

 559 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/6/06: A-4, S-3, T-3.5, M-4.5, O-4.5

12 oz. with some code on the label. It pours into the pils a clear light gold (almost to the point of macro) with light to medium carbonation leading up to an inch of white head that leaves nice sheets and lace. In the nose it's spicy/grassy hops with hints of hay and the palate mimics this nicely, with a dash of sweet malts to balance the almost medium bitterness. The body is medium with carbonation that borders on tingly, and it leaves a short finish. Overall worth a try and would make a good session beer if not for being a tad expensive. Overall - 3.73

5/23/11: A-4.5, S-3.5, T-4.5, M-4, O-4.5

From a 500 mL German bottle, 11.8P OG, 24 IBUs. It pours a fairly carbonated pale gold, topped with two fingers of crackly white head that retains well and deposits loads of lacing. A few floaties keep it from a five for appearance. Smells lemony/grassy and metallic at first, sweet, with an increasing doughy character; very smooth and appealing, but not very aromatic. The flavor is bright and gently malt forward, with doughy/biscuity and grainy malts that yield a light sweetness, and lemony/grassy/herbal hops that balance nicely and contribute a mild bitterness. The body is fairly light, well-carbonated and silky smooth, with a light bitterness in the short finish. Quite a drinkable beer, and one that is very clean and well-brewed. A great helles that is hard to savor because it drinks so easily - definitely recommended. Overall - 4.25

 1,492 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow with a sticky white head. Aroma is grassy malt and a faint smell of hops. This is a really good smelling lager. Taste is biscuity with a slight amount of citrus and hops. Overall, this is a world class lager from "The world's oldest brewery".

 262 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For some reason my girlfriend wants to live in a house built before 1776. I drink beer from a brewery built in 1040. I win.

Pale gold with a fluffy white head. Good retention and great lacing. Aroma is potpourri floral hop and sweet, mead-like malt over bed of light grains. Taste still carries that flowery sweetness but adds depth with some noble spice in back. Really clean with a full mouthfeel.

I'm still getting used to pale lagers that don't taste like butt.

 468 characters

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very clear yellow color. It looks very similar to that of a macro lager. Lots of bubble activity in the glass with a slight bit of head retention.

S- Smells of grains, nothing too fancy.

T- Tastes a lot like rye bread, which is the dominating taste here. Lots of grain tastes.

M- Feels great in the mouth, nice and refreshing.

D- Easy to drink, goes down like that of a Macro beer.

 392 characters

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber (size listed as "16.9 FL.OZ.") purchased at The Cheese Monger's Shop in Leavenworth for $2.99.

Poured a very slightly hazy straw-gold color, with a big, fizzy white head that, while noisy, was not long for this world. No lace at all.

The smell is lightly malty, with a mildly spicy hop presence.

The taste is similar to the smell, though the flavor comes out more. Fizzy yellowish beers are not generally my thing, but I'd like them more if more of them had flavor like this one. The maltiness is lightly sweet, the hoppiness is mildly herbal, but packs a slight peppery spiciness. This is a very tasty light bodied beer, and is quite nice on a fairly hot day like today.

A you can guess, it's pretty light bodied. While I prefer something with a little more substance (or, in the case of my beloved porters and stouts, a LOT more), this would be quite nice to quaff in quantity on a hot day. Apparently the world's oldest brewery makes a lawnmower beer!

 973 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good basic, old-school, German lager beer. This is a dark blonde beer with a whispy head. The aromas are heavily malty and slightly hoppy. The taste is malty as well, with some nice hops in the background. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing and the drinkability is great, especially in the summer heat. A good basic beer.


 331 characters

Photo of nano
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a paulaner muf from a 50 ml bottle

A, good 2 inch white head with a nice golden color

S- nice lager yeast, very strong actualy, and german malts

T- sweet flavour, a little bit of spicy taste at the finsh

M- good carbonation, medium body

D- exelent, i will take 6 of this ones with no problem, at thios time the best munich lager hell that i have try

 369 characters

Photo of gabe23
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear straw color with a large, bright white head. Good retention with scattered lacing.

S - Grassy with a little bit of lemon. A touch of malty sweetness, but honestly, the aroma is very mild and not complex.

T - Very mild flavor with a graininess and some mild hops, though not much bitterness to speak of. A slight estery yeast flavor is also present, as well as a metallic tinge. Finish is clean with practically no aftertaste.

M - Very light body with moderate carbonation. Quite watery compared to most lagers and pilseners that I've had before.

D - Light and crisp, this one is definitely an easy drinker.

 620 characters

Photo of theformula
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Super light, golden hay body and nearly 100% clarity. Huge, beautiful snow white head that's fairly sticky. She's a looker.

S: Fresh noble hop aroma. Clean, light and fruity. Bright citrus. Nothing spectacular, but I'm waiting for the flavor, as I didn't expect a huge aroma.

M: Light, air-y body. Moderate carbonation and thin, crisp structure.

T: German hop-heavy and a pleasant bitterness. Nothing compared to our PAs, but refreshing and easy easy easy to drink. Nice citrus/orange and grapefruit notes, and a dough bread taste in the background. A little grain.

D: A decent Old-World beer. They deserve credit, but maybe my 'buds are spoiled by the big flavor US versions. A session-er for sure. Tinge of sweet malt is appreciated and balancing. Finish is dry and short. Good stuff, but the flavor level needs to be more bold.

 845 characters

Photo of keithmurray
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Hazy, cloudy straw/golden color with frothy white head

Smell - grass, hay, honey, citrus, sweet malt

Taste - hops, grass, hay, bread, slight citrus

mouthfeel - really refreshing beverage, smooth upfront, smooth finish, light body, ample carbonation

overall - this is a really nice beverage, this tastes like a really refined lager that other breweries should strive for

 386 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Crystal clear gold color, with no head at all, just a slight film. I used a clean hand-washed glass, so I'm knocking off points.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with an ever-so-slight spicy note.

Flavor: Grainy, sweet malt barley flavor. Bitterness is minimal but there are some herbal, honey-like hop flavors. Finish is clean and light.

Body: Medium-light body.

I admit this is a hard-to-appreciate style for me. This beer is spot-on for all the requisite characteristics, except the head. But it still seems bland to me (and disappointing because Weihenstephaner makes my favorite hefeweizen, without any doubt).

 626 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the "Original Premium," poured from a 500mL bottle into a pilsener glass. "5398" on the label means this bottle is a bit over 7 months old.

Color is a transparent amber/maize or amber/flax depending on the light, with a large off-white head. Retention and lacing is laudable. Light malt aroma with maybe a hint of hops. Very mild toasty malt flavor with a brisk (almost but not quite tart) finish. Smell and taste are fleeting, but it does seem to have more in common with a Czech pilsner than an Oktoberfest-Marzen. Light - medium feel on the palate, with heavy carbonation.

A decent, unoffensive lager...it does a little better paired with food than served alone.

 676 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with lots of suspended yeast, a moderately-sized show-white head, good irregular lace. Aroma consists of malt, spicy hops, and a slightly musty quality. Taste begins with a sweet, mild malt flavors, mildly spicy hops with hints of cloves and ripe bananas. The malt yields a pronounced sweetness from the middle of the taste to the finish. Alcohol notes are also distinct, but not overpowering. Lemon hops bring the taste to a close and linger well beyond its end. A very good beer that asserts an aura of quality.

Package reviewed was a pint brown longneck, which was labeled "malt liqour", this perhaps in conformance to Texas' curious laws regarding beer.

 686 characters

Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,244 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!