Weihenstephaner Original | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

882 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: 882 | Ratings: 2,254
Photo of udubdawg
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle.

Pours a pale gold color, excellent clarity; very bright, with a sizeable and airy white head. Bubbles are pretty big and it rapidly recedes for the most part, but a cap remains and it laces half of the glass quite well. Very inviting.

Nose is quite good. I'm always at a loss as to rate this kind of aroma per style, or per what I like. Nice sweet and toasted grain, just a bit of biscuit. There's a vague fruity edge to it, a little bit of citrus and a little who knows what. I like the noble hops noted, but I'd like a little more, more. In the end I kept the nose score down a touch, but it probably deserved higher.

Man this is refreshing. It's very sunny outside and the bright color, and easy-drinking, thirst-quenching nature scream for me to drink this on the pation...of course, it's also 15 degrees F, so I think that's out for now. Sweet malt is again up front, with a light and nearly balancing hop bitterness behind. I'm getting a little fresh/grassy note too that I didn't notice in the aroma.

Carbonation is lower than the spritzy beverage expected, but quite enjoyable. Body on the light side, and drinkability is nearly off the charts for me. Unfortunately only the 1809 is currently distributed to Kansas, otherwise Weihenstephan would be a regular in my fridge.

 1,300 characters

Photo of n0315
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice golden color with a decent head thatssticks to the glass and yet is fluffy. The smell is good to average, but has a nice smell and a clean crisp to it. the taste is great. Smooth as silk and is still good as it warms. This would be a great session beer.

 258 characters

Photo of goldenpeanut
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at grocery store. Protected from light in plastic cooler all the way home.

Pours with a thin head and presents slightly hazy in glass. We expected brilliant clarity. Aroma cold (45F) was depressed and slightly out of balance for a helles. On warming to 58F balance in aroma was restored.

Flavor cold was depressed with malt decoction notes only present very late in the finish but lingering nicely. No off flavors were noted but overall taste sensation was somewhat muddy. On warming decocted malt flavors came to the front but perceived mouth feel increased. The beer tries to be crisp but just doesn't succeed. A helles may be somewhat sweet, but it should be crisply sweet.

Bitter balances sweetness but heavier than normal mouth feel interferes with the palate leading to that muddy feeling. No hop flavor or aroma is noted, cold or on warming. A malt beer.

Our sample may have had rough treatment on its way to my hands in South Alabama. I would like to try this on tap at a German pub. The decocted flavors promise so much if the muddy sensations were absent. Remains chill hazed to some degree at 60F. Sweetness appropriate but on high end of style.

Worth a try, does not appear to be a dumbed down export model.

 1,234 characters

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

Picked this up cheap at world market.

Poured into a pils glass this beer lights up nicely, pale gold and crystal clear with nice active carbonation and a sticky and lacy one inch head that fades to a cap in a minute or two. The smell is nice an clean with touches of malty and grassy sweetness here and there, the taste at first is a mellow and buttery green apple that warms into a nice bready sweetness. I'm not really a fan of the style personally but this is still a very nice beer.

 487 characters

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

Pours a light yellow clear lager color with a thin one finger white fizzy head. Retention holds throughout and leaves sticky lacing on the glass. Wet hay and grass notes with an earthy edge to them. Slight lemony tartness coupled with a floral presence.

Smooth and light on the palate with an infusion of carbonation that tickles the tongue. Toasted grain notes and a lemony floral hop presence round out the flavors. Not a very complex lager, but definitely a very solidly constructed brew. Easy drinking and quite tasty.

 524 characters

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

Had in my Weihenstephaner glass. This beer poured a clear straw color and formed a nice foamy white head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, bread and grass. The flavor was of grain, biscuts and pepper. It was a fairly light body with a nice crisp finish to it.

 325 characters

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into Goblet with a cloudy golden color. Mild head and retained lace somewhat but negligible towards the end.

S-Sweet with honey accents.

T- Full body that moves from sweet to pleasant tartness as you finish the glass.

M-Crisp feel.

D-High. Did not expect the sweetness in a golden lager but would go back for more.

 327 characters

Photo of ralree
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt, 9 fl oz. bottle marked "Original Premium".

A: Light gold with a 2-finger head and decent retention. Lacing was a little weak, but that's expected with this style.

S: Raisins and a bit of hops. Pretty sweet smelling, with some sourness. Not really my thing.

T: Tastes like it smells - sweet raisins and a bit of bread, finishing up with an alkaline-masked hop flavor. A tiny bit bitter at the end, but less bitter than most beer.

M: Medium-light bodied with good carbonation. Very clean mouthfeel, non-astringent.

D: Goes down smooth. May drink again.

 560 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Yellow straw color, with a nice large fluffy head.

Smell - Sweet malt, some hops, but mostly a citrus scent, like lemons.

taste - Sweet taste to it with some hops at the end, but not overwelming.

mouthfeel - Light-medium body.

drinkability - Very easy to drink, nice and refreshing. I have had other from this company and they are great.

 358 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from jhammerly, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale yellow color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of light malts, lager yeast and some hops.

T: The taste is light and very bready with a little bit of sweetness. The malt character is thin but is enough to give the beer substance. There’s a decent hops presence for the style. It’s the type of taste macro lagers should strive toward. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and smooth, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, the kick is ok, if I’m going to go with a light German lager this would be a pretty good choice. I could certainly drink several of these.

 867 characters

Photo of yelterdow
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served at fridge temperature in a tall festbier glass. The code lasered on the back of this bottle reads 2157.

Appearance- Crystal clear, this beer pours a pale gold and supports a one finger snow white head. Terrific activity inside the glass, with multiple carbonation streams launching from beneath. Excellent head replenishment the whole time, and there's some sporadic, impressive lacing.

Smell- Crisp hops, husky grains, a level of purity that goes unquestioned with regard to ingredients. In a word, honest.

Taste- Phenomenally balanced, the malt and hops just fuse seamlessly... it's so damn basic, but in this instance it's beautiful. The graininess is upfront and complements the overall character.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel is as perfect as could be... liquid silk, transforming to a foamy sea that finishes with sublime elegance. Although this isn't my go-to beer for this style, its presentation and tasting was a rewarding experience.

 964 characters

Photo of jdmorgan
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a golden color with a medium, white head and was enjoyed in a ceramic beer stein to accomodate it's larger volume.

The smell was lighter and had notes of malt, citrus, and some hop aroma. The taste was clean and refreshing, and had a medium body and hop profile. The bitterness was medium and quite enjoyable. This is a well-balanced beer. The mouthfeel is medium in consistency with a medium/low carbonation.

I was surprised by this one, but I guess not really considering it's from the oldest brewery in the world. I considerd it very drinkable, and I could have several of these in a row without growing tired. This is the first Weihenstephaner I've tried, and certainly won't be my last.

 710 characters

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

A - Pours a hazy golden color with lots of white head that leaves lacing on my glass

S - Malt and citrus sticks out

T - Much like the smell malt and citrus a little bitter

M - light carbonation and very smooth

D - Good taste and smoothness make this easy to drink its one of those beers that you can drink all night.

 320 characters

Photo of Kulrak
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color with lots of creamy white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of noble and cascade hops and slightly yeasty. Taste is also very hoppy, citrusy and noble. There's lots of munich and lager malt flavor there as well, very tasty. Mouthfeel is a little creamy and a little fizzy, there's some scraping on the tongue. Overall, it's a very drinkable beer, I wouldn't mind having more.

 413 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll consider this beer a delicacy after tasting a lot of Light American Lagers recently. This beer opens with a hop-dominant nose of Noble hops, releasing a boquet of earthy, grassy, herbal notes. A sturdy backbone of pilsner malts offer support for the hops, while offering little in terms of sweetness or graininess. Any pilsner-type dms or acetaldahyde are swallowed by the hops. Delicate malt textures bleed well into the dryness of the hops and mild alcohols. Finishes light, crisp, and with a lingering hop flavor. Very nice beer, but perhaps a bit too hop-dominant to be considered balanced.

 599 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Weihenstephaner Original pours from a brown twelve ounce bottle as a golden yellow color with a thick white head that persists stubbornly. The aroma is malty with a hint of citrus, and a hint of hops. The taste is very well balanced, toasty malt and hops merge beautifully. There is also a hint of citrus flavor. Exceptionally easy to drink, one of the best lagers I've ever tasted.

 382 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours to a golden yellow color with a fair sized head, which has left a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma is dominated by malt with some light citrus like flavors, but not from hops I believe, more of a lemon flavor. The taste is nice, I will say that though I feel that this is a good beer, I think it is probably the last favorite that I have tried from Weihenstephan. I will say though that this brew exceeded my expectation and would be one that I would stock in my fridge especially during the warmer months

 548 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle and in the lager mood...sparkling gold bubbly body with thick, creamy head--near-perfect Brussels lace...crisp, light/medium cereal malts present...soft texture, light body--a tongue-to-throat swiftness...a bit weak and thin...extremely weak and fleeting in taste... I kept waiting for what the commercial description calls "character"...a yeasty finish...pleasant summer drinking but lacks a big pilsner taste...since 1040? tradition puts the overall where it is, hemming at the average while the promise of its beginning is unfulfilled...

 554 characters

Photo of OKCNittany
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle into a Victory Prima pilsner glass

A: Majestic three finger white head that eventually fell to 1/4", leaving plenty of lacing. However, it had a weak looking, hazy, pale golden body.

S: A little lemony with a touch of malty sweetness. It's ok, but no more.

T: Again, a touch of tart citrus. A touch of malt. Overall very light - there's really not much too it.

M: Light to medium body. Lightly carbonated - almost flat (or smooth if you're a glass half-full kind of person).

D: Would make a great session beer, but personally I'd prefer something more substantial.

 593 characters

Photo of jettjon
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 500ml bomber with no freshness date into a pilsner. Pale golden clear with numerous bubbles. Thick white head, with a moderate fade down to a thin clumpy cap and good sticky lace. Nose of powdery malt and light citrus hops, nothing remarkable here. Tastes of light malt and light citrus. Mild bitter finish. Mouth is light bodied with easygoing carbonation; it’s smooth and refreshing. Somewhat crisp. Drinkability is decent; taste and overall enjoyability is OK, but the 500ml bottle was enough for me.

Overall: A so-so pils, clean and light but rather unremarkable.

 580 characters

Photo of seanyfo
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml serving in a Weihenstephaner Seidel vom fass, at the Weihenstephan outlet in Berlin, near the S-Bahn station: Hackescher Markt.

A: pale straw colouring, with a 3 finger creamy head that is long lasting, lacing is good also.

S: lots of fresh bread malts here, no real hops to speak of, just very fresh.

T: smooth with some nice hop profile in the middle, but the malts overpower this in the finish, very clean and crisp

M: medium carbonation, smooth, creamy.

D: A fantastic helles vom fass. Could drink this all day in the Biergartens of Munchen. If only i was there now!

 581 characters

Photo of LeftyBWS
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a tall, brown 16.9 oz bottle with no freshness/date indicated. The label clearly states that this beer comes from the “World’s Oldest Brewery” and is brewed under the Purity Law of 1516. That’s part of the reason I bought this beer, so let’s see if older is better.
A: Cloudy straw-color with a quarter-inch of somewhat foamy head that recedes after a minute without much cling.
S: Quite malty and yeasty, with some noticeable fruity notes, mostly apples. There are some other more subtle fruity scents that I can’t quite identify.
T: Mildly bitter taste at first, followed by some fruit flavors, and then smooth and mild malts. Overall, pretty much exactly what it smells like. Quite round and well-balanced, with a good amount of sweetness that blends into the malts to create a very smooth aftertaste.
M: Wet and calming, somehow. Rather refreshing and satisfying.
D: Pretty high. This is one of the smoother and more delectable lagers I’ve tasted.
Overall, one of the best lagers I’ve had. An all-around solid choice that can make an excellent beer choice for when you want to have a bunch, or when you just want to wash down your bratwurst.

 1,191 characters

Photo of Domingo
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(NOTE: This is a review based upon an imported bottle. I've had it straight from the source but didn't make any notes...however this bottled version tastes virtually identical based upon memory for reference)

Pours a light yellow-golden color. It's not going to blow your mind or push any boundaries, but it's the standard pale lager color. Not quite as dark as a Hacker-Pschorr or Augustiner, but is right in the middle of the pack. Like all good helles biers, it forms a large white fluffy head that'll hang around all day.
The smell is of grain, hops, sweet clover honey, and a little yeasty spice. It smells a little sweeter than most.
Flavor starts off with a little sweetness, and then it moves to grain. Hops hit in the finish. It's very much a "pure" helles that isn't trying to be a pils in disguise. The balance is perfect.
It's god a nice texture because of the head, but it drinks like the best water you've ever had.
Wonderful stuff. Probably the best pure helles around (Edelstoff's technically an export).
This is the ultimate example of what a lighter colored lager should be.

 1,100 characters

Photo of Enola
2.77/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very light yellow, almost watery. A thick white frothy head sits atop and leaves behind a small amount of lacing. The smell is corn/rice. The taste is a very light beer with no harsh aftertaste. Refreshing, just the thing a person needs in this heat. Thanks to Wcudwight for the botte.

Edit: As this beer warms it develops a wierd metallic taste. Much better cold.

 369 characters

Photo of LittleCreature
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a massive four fingers of frothy head, which reduced rather slowly. The colour itself is very pale straw, looks only slightly carbonated.

Smell - 3.5
Actually smells quite like a shandy, a real lemonade scent. Otherwise I can smell sweet malt and a little hops, although the overall smell is quite mild.

Taste - 4.0
Wow, this goes down so easily! The first surprise is how sweet the beer is, although it does not taste overly malty. Flavours include bread and a bit of lemon. The finish is slightly hoppy and bitter, and very fresh. Nothing extraordinary here, but the freshness really prevails.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Feels a little watery at first, then thickens before it goes down. Carbonation is low, perhaps a little lower than preferable for this kind of beer, but then most are over-carbonated so this is a welcome change if anything.

Drinkability - 4.5
Considering I have never seen this on tap anywhere, I would hesitate to call it a session beer. However the alcohol is moderate and it goes down extremely easily, even for a lager. Not hugely interesting though, so I'm not craving a second.

OVERALL - 3.95
As of now, this is probably the finest lager I have ever tasted. The freshness and lack of skunky tastes put it leagues ahead of most mainstream lagers. The price is on the high side, but not unreasonable considering the quality. There are certainly more interesting German beers out there, but this one reeks of quality and makes for very enjoyable drinking.

 1,500 characters

Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,254 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
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.