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 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

When I read the reviews from other BAs I had to relook at the bottle to see if I was drinking the same thing. Several said there's was cloudy or hazy. Mine was kristall klar and a pale straw colour. I got no phenolics that some reported but a malty grassy aroma and similar taste. There was a crisp sparkly mouthfeel but otherwise nothing overly complex. It sure is drinkable and I really enjoyed drinking it but it's not overly interesting. If I was going to a BBQ and this was available I might take it but then I'd probably just buy the hefe and be really happy.

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Photo of largadeer
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a simple but perfectly executed lager. The smell and taste are similar; grassy, organic, hints of clove and citrus. Hops linger slightly (in a pleasant way) in the otherwise very clean finish. A bit thicker than I was expecting, there's a slightly creamy quality that I found highly enjoyable. This is hilariously drinkable stuff.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy yellow brew with a fairly light, yeasty scent. The foam on this beer sticks like glue to the side of my glass. Taste is unrelentingly grainy, which I tend to like in my lagers. A nice dash of hops, and an exceedingly crisp and clean finish, with perhaps just a slight cereal aftertaste.

A great lager, and a good addition to the fridge. This one's recommended.

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Photo of muffguy4beer
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: vibrant yellow in color, clear with ample head due to vigorous pour action.

Smell: I pick up the malty goodness, dash of lemon.

Taste: very balanced brew, has a nice sweet front with a slightly tart back end.

Mouthfeel: medium body with crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: easy drinking beer most definitely for the summer time, a style that I am more and more appreciating and trying to replicate in my homebrewing.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Talk about tasting something "again for the first time." This is one of the first real Germans I tried (after the obligatory Beck's) and thought it was good. But I really didn't appreciate how good until years later, drinking it again as an experienced (IMHO) BA. The color is nice, somewhat cloudy pale yellow; with a fresh, subtle malt/hops in the nose. Thinner mouthfeel, but very nice taste that balances the pale malt flavor with a distinctly fruity or citrus (?) hops flavor that makes it extremely refreshing to drink. According to a German wine lover I know, the taste is reminiscent (if subtlely so) of a crisp German Riesling Kabinett. Very good--and something that I've served to BAs and "macro" lovers alike, with equal rave reviews. Truly a universally popular German helles.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy, light yellow-gold color with a thick, bubbly head that blankets the top of the beer. The smell is both sweet and spicy, slightly of cloves. The taste is very mellow, with an initial spicy sweet malt nicely balanced with a decent hop profile and finishes with a slight sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth, lightly carbonated consistency. This is an enjoyable and drinkable beer. I've had their Hefe several times and I would say this is on the same par as that (for the style).

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A crisp, happy hay colro withs consistant bubbling, but a light, bright head of less than one finger. The aroma was a pale and crystal amlt delight with hints of some mineral water and grass. The taste was a crisp hay field of pale and pilsner malts. The hard water makes itself evident in this beer. Very good though. Helps bring the hops into a better light. Slightly dry, but other very crisp and refreshing palate. I need to have one of these out of a boot.

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Photo of July2Nov
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a 0.5L Weihenstephan glass: Opaque golden hue with a huge four finger head that sticks throughout the life of the beer.

Smell: Clean, wheat aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a hint of both cloves and banana. Finishes with a faint grainy taste. Refreshing. Leaves the mouth with a clean aftertaste. Simply great!

Drinkability: If you have never had this, I recommend that you seek it out. I could drink this all day, every day!

Footnote: From the Weihenstephaner website: "The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan. Nearly one thousand years ago it was the monastery brewery of the Benedictine monks, then the Royal Bavarian State Brewery. Today, as a regulated enterprise of the Freestate of Bavaria, it is a company run according to the precepts of private business. As the oldest existing brewery in the world, our brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising, surrounded by the comparatively still very young Weihenstephan science centre of the Technical University of Munich. Yet it is precisely this unique combination of tradition and custom, proven knowledge, and modern science, which gives the brewery its incomparable identity and permits it to brew beers of the highest quality."

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Photo of Gmann
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden straw color with a decent white head that left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. The nose is very faint, some noble hop scent. Has a dry cracker malt taste with some light hop flavor. The flavor doesn't stand out but it is nice and crisp and refreshing. The feel is a bit watery, crisp, finishes very nice. This is a very drinkable and refreshing beer, why American macros can't follow this style is beyond me.

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Photo of witster18
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this poured light gold with a 1"head average retention and when it left it look out of this world for a lager...a cool foamy/stickyness on the surface with lots of nice lacing forming. Smell is earthy hops and a hint of banana. Love that hops on the nose. Taste is a little dissapointing considering...appearance. Just doesn't go down very easy...mouthfeel is nice but there's no lingering good tastes...this is good....would it be a travesty to say that Velas Hellas from Gatlinburg is as good?

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