Weihenstephaner Original | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

888 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

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Reviews: 888 | Ratings: 2,267
Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I realized I hadn't yet typed up my notes from years ago on this beer, so I used that an excuse to buy it again. Runs $10.99 (plus tax and deposit) per sixer in NYC if you know where to look.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Iconic label design with the classic Weihenstephaner font. 11.2 fl oz/330ml format. Branded pry-off crown cap.

5.10% ABV. "Original premium Bavarian style" is the closest the label comes to offering a style. (Their website clarifies it's indeed a helles lager). 215 kcal per 0.5L pour. 21 IBUs. 11.6% Gew original wort.

Brief notes below:

APPEARANCE: Classic white colour head with ample frothiness and cream. Yellow-copper body. It's darker in colour than I remembered - hardly the bright vibrant yellow body one imagines in a German bierkrug. But it's clean and clear, lacking any visible yeast/lees and indicating obvious filtration. Head retention is good - ~8 minutes. Thick lacing clings to the glass as the head recedes.

I remembered this boasting more vibrance, but it's a decent looking helles lager. Maybe my bottle is old?

AROMA: Yeah, I'm thinking I got an old bottle. Muted musty 2 row and Munich malt is all I detect, along with some grassiness from Noble hops and maybe even some metallic or vegetal off-flavours. It's a shame; I remembered this much better. I guess I'll continue with notes on what this drinks like when it's older, and compensate with a fresh review at a later date...

TASTE: Munich malts and grassy hop notes. Some mustiness, skunked flavour, and metallic off-flavours.

Had I not bought this directly from a distributor, I doubt I'd continue with my review at all.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, light-bodied, unrefreshing.

OVERALL: I got a bottle from a distributor that just isn't in its prime; I've had this before many a time and it was much tastier. Even old and possibly skunked, it's still drinkable - which I guess says something about its quality. I guess with how old Weihenstephan is, there's something oddly appropriate about me having gotten an old six pack. Still, if this low rating (which I don't stand behind at all and intend to rectify in the future) does anything, I hope that it encourages Weihenstephan to start bottle dating so situations like this (i.e. having to give one of the most classic paragons of the style a ludicrously low rating) can be avoided.

Low C (2.77) / AVERAGE

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Photo of drmeto
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

-pours a clear straw golden with a medium,foamy,white head
-medium to high carbonation visible
-citrus,apple,spicy,bready,pears,tea,herbs,sugary malt
-light to medium bitterniss for the style
-medium,soft carbonation
-light body
Basically a very good,spot-on Helles Lager.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of dobroblues
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A very clear, pale straw yellow. The aroma is sweet and the bread quality is there. The taste is pretty subtle and very smooth. This goes down easy and tastes satisfying. The mouth feel is heavier bodied than it looks tastes like, but it finishes very smoothly. It's very similar to an adjunct beer, but beats them in all categories. Nice, simple brew.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: A crystal clear, golden yellow beer with a two finger satin white head that laces the glass well.

Aroma: Dried hay and honey, mild notes of green apples and smoky, toasted biscuits.

Taste: Sweet with flavors of cotton candy and honey. Vague flavors of green apple tarts and fresh baked bread. Subtle, very tame flavors of bitter, floral Saaz hops in the background to complement the sweetness. A very clean, refreshing taste.

Feel: Dry and saccharine. Medium bodied. Moderately carbonated. Crisp, but not exactly ""bubbly"" or overtly fizzy.

Overall: Would love to be able to travel to the brewery one day and sample this fresh.

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Photo of JRed
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bright yellow in color, solid 3/4" white head, above average retention. Aroma hit the heavy bread notes.

Lemon, bread, pale malt, noble hops. Lots of carbonation, comes off as crisp. Floral. Relatively light bodied. Dry. Its a neat little beer, but I dunno. Too much of an American hophead or something. The cost seems up there. Light sweetness, a heavier body than the color of the beer would indicate.

I don't see much different between a Euro lager and this, this just seems to have more of a malt bill along the same lines.

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Photo of Kubishark
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of nobledust
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of lastmango
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured very yellow with a white fizzy three finger head. Minimal lacing. Slight yeasty aroma. Tastes like bread with a slight floral hop flavor on the end. Very clean and crisp with a light to medium body.

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Photo of bankboy66
4.76/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Review was done by pouring a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
Appearance: Light golden in color as well as clean and clear. Head measures about 2 fingers when initially poured but dissipates quickly. It's what a lager is expected to look like.
Smell: Very clean smell. Subtle bread/yeast aroma.
Taste: Similar to the aroma, with hints of bread. Very clean tasting, as expected from a great lager. No skunky flavor at all.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied beer with light amount of carbonation that goes down extremely easily.
Overall: In my opinion, this beer is the quintessential lager. If you are looking for a clean tasting lager, then definitely try this beer.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pour is bright yellow and clear, lots of foam and nice lacing. Smells of light citrus and mild hops very faint overall. Taste is very crisp and light, nice clean citrus with mild malt and easy finish. I would consider this a very neat beer, nothing over the top but very well done and very refreshing. Never let down having this beer, always a fun drinking experience.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bttl into "Perfect Pint" glass
Was bottled 1036 which is about 8 months old, so not exactly fresh
L- pours clear blonde, with fluffy white head, quickly dissipating
S- doughy yeast aroma, real clean not much else
T- similar to nose, real dough on the tongue, clean on the linger, with slight floral spicy finish
F- light bodied, but the doughiness does show up on the feel as well
O- as explained by the bros this is a pils with more malt, that shows up for me in this beer as some serious dough, drinks cleanly not 100% balanced decent Helles

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Light golden, very clear. Sparse white head.
smell: Subtle malt and subtle citrus.
taste: Much like the nose. Light and crisp. A marvel of simplicity.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Straw yellow to light gold in color with a light amount of fine sediment within the body. There's a fingernail of eggshell white around the rim and covering the majority of the top. The aroma is of pale malt and faint German bittering hops. I taste a very gentle dose of pale malt with a bit of a sourdough flavor. There's also a touch of German bittering hops in the back of the palate. The mouth is very smooth and quaffable.

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Photo of mobrado
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of Squire123
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold color with white cap and great lacing.

Aroma of sweet malt and clean, floral, spicy hops. Not a strong aroma but a good one.

Taste is classic lager, solid, slightly sweet malt with a marvelous hop influence that manages to complement the malt yet establish a delightful presence of it's own. The malt has a honeyish taste yet isn't really sweet, the hops are like flowers from which the honey was made. The product of a brewery whose roots go back 1000 years into the era of Monastic brewing and one wonders if the recipe was the result of divine revelation. Simple elements woven into a complex tapestry of flavor. Lingering aftertaste resolves into a creamy memory.

Texture is medium yet not lacking.

Overall it's easy to see why this one is World famous. A rare display of brewing skill that leaves the impression it could be made different but couldn't be made better.

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Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This delicious beer has a good taste, wonderful hops presence, good maltiness, pours a nice head (doesnt every beer??? dumb category) and has a wonderfully delicious beer aroma.

Awesome beer. I tried a Krombacher last year (I wont be able to this year because the local distributor decided not to carry it any more and Georgia's ancient and stupid laws allow the distrib. to do as they please) and enjoyed it immensely. This beer reminds me of that, but I think it is better because it has a fuller taste and the hops are not as obvious as with the Krombacher. Both are certainly good and I would never deny either- if offered.

IPA and all the hops based "craft" beers? You tire me with your excessive HOPS and HOPS and HOPS.

Weihenstephaner is a great example of a great German beer that has a great taste and is thoroughly enjoyable from the first sip to the last.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, slightly hazy, pale yellow, fluffy white head, great lacing

S: Bread, slightly hoppy

T: Sweet malts, followed by the bitter hop taste to balance

M: Light

O: Great lager. Just what you would look for as a light summertime beer.

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you want to show someone what German Helles is, this is the finest example I can think of. And that is not to take away from Hofbrau or Paulaner and others. It has that wonderful, malty character that so many so-called Helles just don't have. This is the beer that made me start home-brewing nigh onto 40 years ago. What a fantastic beer!

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow this stuff is delicious. Golden pour with thin but clingy white top. Aroma is bready with faintest hop just detectable. Flavor is remarkable bready malt that's so smooth and a little sweet mid-sip. Finishes clean. Simple and fantastic.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Do not argue with a classic.
The best lagers are subtle and this is such.
Original's subtlety must come from long lagering.
I am not a big fan of light, light blondes. But this one smells sweet. Taste melds malt and hops well. Balanced. Feel is light and could be more.
It went well with my hearty vegetable soup.

MJ's 1999 "guide" gave this classic only 2 of 4 stars and called Original "gentle, golden lager, broadly in the Export style, with a flowery happens from nose to finish."
MJ tasted more than me.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle poured into willybecher glass no date that I could understand

A: light gold in color great clarity not much of a head but it was a soft pour

S: smells like a pilsner with that slightly acidic spicy peppery nose

T: very similar to the nose with a soft bready finish that isn't as harsh as a pilsner

M: light crisp with a softer feel not as carbonated as I thought it was going to be

O: it really doesn't stand out much from the macro beers the big boys offer its smooth light and lightly bready on the finish with a spicy peppery pilsner nose.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The lager to end all lagers. It really is that good. Here I get bottles that are four to five months old , and they are still top notch. The catch is of course the price. Around 13 bucks for a sixer, so I often will pick up something else.. But I'll put it this way. If it was of a similar price to other awesome craft lagers I enjoy, then I would never buy anything else.

The standard for Helles Lagers in my opinion, and as one of my top styles Im of course in love.

Germany in a bottle!

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Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,267 ratings.
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