Weihenstephaner Original | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

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

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Germany | website

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: 874 | Ratings: 2,228
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

Photo of bosco7
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a straw color with a fluffy white head. Perfect clarity. Lacing is sticky and webbed.

Lots of honey-like aromatics with some grassy hop aromas.

Sweet malt upfront that leads into honey, grass, biscuit, lemon zest, and some mineral flavors then finishes bone dry. Very tasty.

Low carbonation leaves the beer watery (in a very good way).

Very drinkable. Might become a regular session beer for me. I was very suprised by the quality of this brew (have had bad luck with bottles from Germany in the past). Recomended.

 533 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours slightly hazed straw yellow with a thin head that immediately becomes a thin floating patch.

The smell is of sweet graininess - fresh cut grass/hay. There is an underlying banana-like fruitiness.

The taste is grassy/grainy. Sweet malt with enough German hops to balance it out nicely. Subtle banana/clove in the finish.

Light towards medium bodied, this one is so smooth, crisp and refreshing that it just begs for more.

 435 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The third part of the Weihenstephaner Invitational is their "original". Kind of an odd name considering the brewery's been around for almost 1,000 years, and lagers have only been around since the mid-19th century. Whatever, let's move on to the beer:

Poured into a stange glass, it's bright blonde body and fluffy head are picture perfect with lots of carbonation bubbles. Doughy sweetness, lemon, and grass make up much of the smell, with the taste more of the same, mixed with a very light bitterness. It's exceptionally soft on the palate, and the flavors are mixed well. Nothing is overbearing, making this both easy and fun to drink.

A surprise offering that in my opinion matches that of their hefeweizen. This was one of the best blonde lagers I've ever tasted. Will it be enough to win the Weihenstephaner Invite? Their dunkelweizen will be the last one on tap, coming up later.

 890 characters

Photo of Maerzen
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a hot day today so I picked up some beers that I thought would go well with the weather.

A - Perfectly clear, pale straw color with over 1" of foam that disolves quickly leaving light lace.

S - light citrus with hint of malt

T - light and balanced between malt and hops with neither one being over pronounced. Crisp.

MF - light (I see a pattern)

D - Quite drinkable. Perfect summer beer that can be drunk any time of year.

 442 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 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 rrg1gb
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light straw with little head to start with. This was weird because there was more carbonation that I thought possible.

There was a light malty aroma - it smelled like a freshly mowed lawn.

It tasted a bit doughy, with a light crispiness and a bit of hoppy citrus flavor. It was a kind of grainy, though, and extremely carbonated. It had a very dry finish with a creamy aftertaste. At first I thought it was watered down, but as I had more of this Helles, I realized it wasn't at all. This is good - definitely a brew for those hot summer nights. I'm going to convert my BMC buddies to this, as it's inoffensive but not cheaply made.

I honestly thought it was going to be skunked, but I guess that I misread the pull date. I was wrong about this, and I'm glad I was. Great Helles, can definitely have plenty of these in one night.

 847 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear pale yellow with a brite white head. Decent retention. Excellent lacing.
Aroma is grainy, malty, grassy, & lemony.
Malt heavy flavor. Subtle sweetness. Citrus kick at the finish with a very pleasant grassy lemon aftertaste.
Feels clean crisp and refreshing.
Great beer for BBQ's and relaxing by the pool.

 314 characters

Weihenstephaner Original from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,228 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!