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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
879 Reviews
Weihenstephaner OriginalWeihenstephaner Original
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Germany
brauerei-weihenstephan.de

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
879
Ratings:
2,244
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
19.85%
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
366
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 2,244
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

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 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.

 565 characters

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.

 338 characters

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.

 372 characters

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.

 477 characters

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.

 788 characters

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).

 563 characters

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.

 461 characters

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."

 1,275 characters

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.

 441 characters

Photo of witster18
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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 overrated here....would it be a travesty to say that Velas Hellas from Gatlinburg is as good? Sorry I know this Brewery has been doing this since 1040 but I thought it would be better. Good but not fantastic by any means...other than it's appearance.

 662 characters

Photo of maximumsheehan
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy straw color, very little head retention.

S - Empty, bland

T - Surprisingly warm, clove flavors come foward, as it warms it becomes more and more complex, notes of coffee replace the clove.

M - Despite the warmth of the taste it goes down fairly easy and doesn't destroy the palate

D - Smooth

 315 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour into my rarely-used pokal raises a sweet-looking off-white two-finger head that has lots of large bubbles slowly bursting through the foamy surface. It falls slowly, leaving sticky lace on the sides of the glass. Below, the body is hazy, deep golden yellow. It's about the appearance of a filtered wheat, even at the thinnest part of the glass. The nose smells of sweet grains, and just a tad less noble hop aroma than expected from a pils. Clean and mild. The taste is the same way. I've enjoyed Helles before, but there's just not much to be said. It's got a lot more taste than most macros, and, unlike them, no off flavors, but this just doesn't do it for me. Medium-light in the mouth, with high carb. I won't be seeking this out, my fav. Helles is Penn's.

 770 characters

Photo of guitarmage
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Vibrant, clear, pale, straw yellow, lots of little bubbles rising up the glass. Decent head retention, nice sea-foam white lacing floats on the top of the beer. Good looking.

Smell: Light and malty, round, a light grassy hop character, lightly metallic, phenolic.

Taste: Nice light sweetness gives way to a light grassy hoppiness, very clean, finishes a little citrus and puckering.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, hard, nice even gentle carbonation, dries up and evaporates.

Drinkability: A good lager, I haven't tried specifically munich helles lager, but this is refreshing and flavorful for a lager.

 614 characters

Photo of IlliniRob
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden-yellow hue… looked a bit too much like urine. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass with a tall fluffy head that dissipated quickly. Little lacing. Carbonation evident, but not to champagne levels.

S: Very sweet with a hint of floral hoppiness.

T: Starts off tart, then very sweet, and finishes with a touch of a hoppy bite or metallic tinge.

M: Clean, but a bit overly bubbly/frothy.

D: Very quaffable. Would go well with most food. Good enough beer for its style, but nothing to make me say "wow".

 536 characters

Photo of BassAssassin
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw in color. Very clear with good amount of carbonation. Head could have been thicker, although this could have been due to an improper pour.

S: A nice balance of malt sweetness and spicy, floral hop aroma. Reminds me of a pilsner, only slightly sweeter.

T: Starts with a pleasant, mild sweetness. Malt quickly takes a back seat to a spicy, slightly astringent, hop bite. Nicely balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied. Nice rounded mouthfeel thins out toward the bottom of the glass.

D: Highly drinkable lager. Crisp and refreshing. It's really too bad this is not more widely available and/or marketed. It could convert a lot of macro drinkers to craft beer drinkers.

 690 characters

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

Golden-yellow color with a frothy white head. Medium-high carbonation. Aromas of malt, honey, and hops. The flavor is dominated by sweet malt with a crisp juicy texture, slightly chewy. Hops and malt are well balanced. Honey and light fruit flavors upfront, with bread and malt flavors in the finish. Overall, this is enjoyable and an excellent example of the style.

 366 characters

Photo of tcfishler
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost clear light yellow-gold. Good-sized, very persistent and sticky white head, with lots of lacing.

Aromas are surprisingly low-toned, with toast, ripe fruit, and spice.

Carbonation is high but exquisitely fine, lending a more substantial mouthfeel to this otherwise light-bodied brew. Flavors are light and more restrained than the nose, leaning towards the sweet side of the spectrum.

Outstanding - however, the sweetness means this is not the best option for a refreshing, quaffing lager.

 504 characters

Photo of joecast
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. 5.1%abv best before 03/07.
label says "bayrisch mild" below "original"

pours a light golden color with a full inch thick white fluffy head. medium carbonation with small bubbles making their way slowly and steadily to the surface.

mostly a sweet malty aroma bordering on candy. not much in the way of any hops which is a shame. no bready malts either. a bit one dimensional.

a bit more balance in the taste. the malt has a bit more presence, or maybe the sweetness is toned down. slightly more noticeable hops, though they are still a bit light for my liking.
hmm as it warms, the sweetness seems to take fade even more aiding not just the taste, but drinkability as well.

received in a trade with finite (thanks). thought it was a hefe until just before reviewing. so not the style i was expecting, still a nice beer overall.

 856 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

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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

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

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe