Budweiser Budvar | Budějovický Budvar, n.p.

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Budweiser BudvarBudweiser Budvar
1,564 Ratings
Budweiser BudvarBudweiser Budvar

Brewed by:
Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
Czech Republic

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Exported to the US as Czechvar.

Czechvar is the special name of the world famous beer produced by renowned brewery in České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Benefitting from over 700 years of brewing experience of the South Bohemian region, Czechvar is the golden original, acknowledged by many connoisseurs as one the best lagers in the world.

Added by grdahl on 06-22-2001

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Ratings: 1,564 |  Reviews: 818
Photo of StaveHooks
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Czechvar version.

A - Pours a brilliantly clear golden brass color with 1 1.5 finger white head that melts into nothing.

S - Sweet grain, apple, mild grassy hops, clean yeast.

T - Sweet malt, corn, mild dry grass hops, a touch of lemon on the sides of the tongue.

M - Low carbonation, slick, flat finish.

Not sure how old this is. Overall less than expected. The low carbonation and finish was a let down. I would love to try this on tap in Prague.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is probably the second most famous beer from the Czech Republic. I have never tried it, simply because it isn't especially common. I've heard good things, but I've heard that the cans are better (to avoid skunkyness). Unfortunately I'm stuck with a 500ml green bottle.

It pours a pale , clear golden colour with lots of bubbles rising to the top. It's got a thin soapy head on top. Pretty standard, but still quite appealing.

The aroma is quite strong. I can smell the grassy hops with the beer at arms length. Sweet grainy malts come through upon closer examination. There is a slight skunkyness, but nothing too offensive.

The flavour is slightly sweet, and the hops come through as the malt flavours develop. There is some slight skunky taste that's throwing me off as the hop bitterness comes through at the end. It's a good tasting beer though.

Overall, this is a pretty good Czech pilsner, but It kind of lacks any distinguishing qualities. It's really refreshing though, and I'd consider getting it again.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Went with the can instead of the bottle as with most imports, to avoid reviewing light-stricken skunky stuff. Never had this beer before, even though it's everywhere.

Pours a bright golden-yellow colour, topped with a half-finger of fizzy white head that dissipates within 60 seconds. Carbonation level looks lower than most euro lagers. Smell is clean but pretty uninteresting; grassy hops and grainy malts.

Taste is of grainy malts, a bit sweet, some tart apple acidity with an echo of crisp noble hops in the finish. Clean finish with no lingering aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel, light-bodied with good carbonation for the style.

I kind of regret not trying this until now. A respectable Czech pilsener, not quite special enough to warrant seeking out, but worth a try nonetheless.

[Updated Oct. 29 2013]

Can dated 09/05/2013. This isn't the first time I've had a can of this since my last review, but I figured I'd comment on it again now that I've sampled it on more than a few occasions. Budvar is not a bad pilsener, and it blows American Bud out of the water, but it lacks the aggressive grassy/spicy hops I crave from this style. This is a very plain, polite sort of pils - well-brewed and very easy to drink in large quantities. Certainly much tastier than most of the 'big name' Euro lagers, especially stuff like Stella or Carlsberg. I still prefer Pilsner Urquell, but this is a worthy lager in its own right that I'll continue to pick up once in a while.

Final Grade: 3.58, a B.

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Photo of ShireReeve
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour: Tulip glass.

Appearance: Clear and golden with a minimal amount of carbonation. I got just about no sign of a head and absolutely no lacing. Really quite disappointed with the appearance of this beer. I was hoping for something spectacular being that it is supposed to be the real “King of Beers”.

Smell: Honestly, a little skunky. I got some grassy malts at first and then light hops at the deepest part of the inhale.

Taste: Grainy malt initially and then some hoppy notes on the back end. Hops linger in the aftertaste.

Mouth Feel: Light and watery with a dry finish.

Overall: Kind of disappointed with this beer. I didn’t feel like I was drinking a good quality European beer. Will try this one again in the future just to make sure I didn’t get a bad apple.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.02/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in Sofia, Bulgaria hotel room glass

A: little head, dissipates quickly; no lacing; brandy-colored (interesting!)
S: stinks slightly, and not much smell other than that
T: flavorful apple, tart and sweet; not as hoppy as I was expecting; certainly far more tasty than the American rip-off

Overall, a decent pilsener, but not all that great, even then

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing this under the Czechvar label.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a 1 inch fizzy white head that fades to nothing. Random thin broken rings of lace form here and there on the glass. Smell is of grains, grass, and a funky sun-dried lemon aroma. Taste is of grains and grassy/herbal flavors. There is a distinct metallic taste in this one too. Mouthfeel is a tad flat feeling with an almost slightly thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer pretty much all the way around. I didn't enjoy this one too much but I am glad I picked one up to try the Budweiser from Europe.

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Photo of dsprainman
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well this was poured from the standard 33cl bottle.
Despite the green glass, no skunking.
A great pilsner, Pours straw clour with a quick fading 1 finger head. Scents of malts and hops, very evenly balanced.
Taste is pretty much textbook pilsner, slightly hoppy.
Mouthfeel is probably the best aspect of this beer. Lively and highlights the flavours of the brew. All in all, a great pils, but not something to search too hard for. Prefer Urquell.

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Photo of Ochsenblut
4.44/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

50 cl green bottle purchased at a CONAD supermarket in northern Italy.

A- the usual straw colored with a white head that left only a slight lacing after a minute or two.

S- slightly skunky smell, the same you get from a Beck's or a Heineken. I attribute this entirely to the bottle. Besides the skunk, I can smell lemons and grass.

T- a little skunk in the taste. Mild bready malt and more lemon and grass. Clean finish.

M- it's not highly carbonated, and not a terribly substantial mouthfeel although it seems right for the style.

D- hot days and world cup football demand something refreshing and cold! This fullfills my needs entirely, although the skunk is something I tend to avoid on principle. Highly drinkable and not a bad session based on how simple it really is.

Conclusion- considering this is supposed to be representative of the style, I find it a bit lacking. Hops are well balanced but the brewery's decision to use the green bottles is my main argument with this Czech pilsner. Skunk is a turn off, especially on a beer that is so hyped.

EDIT: My first experience with Budvar was severely different from the beer that sits in front of me now. This pils was purchased in a sealed 8 pack. NO LIGHT! It makes a world of difference and really changes my mind on how fantastic Budvar really is, considering it comes in a UV vulnerable bottle. As far as I know, the sealed 8 pack is only available on the European continent.

The smell is at first grassy and slightly sweet. Getting about halfway down my Pilsner glass, it gives off a much sweeter and larger floral presence.

The taste is slightly sweet, vaguely citric and balanced with a satisfying noble hops presence. It finishes clean.

I can find this for under 8 euro an 8 pack in the grocery store here in Italy. Because of the lack of appropriate choices, this is a gold standard of awesomeness for the price-point. A real pilsner is hard to come by here, so Budvar is greatly appreciated.

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Photo of aletale
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500 mL can into an Alexander Keith's pint glass.

The pour reveals a typical pilsner golden-straw colour, perhaps a tint darker than a lot of pilsners. 1 finger of pure white bubbly head dissipated to a faint ring in under a minute. Medium carbonation with quick moving bubbles, but not many of them.

Nose is very, very faint, and difficult to pick out much. However, a grainy malt scent as well as a slight hop scent is present, but aside from that there isn't much to speak of.

Perhaps because I am trying this after just drinking a black IPA, the taste is very closely resembling the nose (ie. VERY sparse flavours). There is a nice, light, smooth hoppiness on the finish and maybe a nice bit of alcohol on the front, but I'm having a hard time distinguishing much else. If nothing else, this is a very smooth, drinkable, refreshing beer, with just enough flavour to get by. It certainly isn't watery.

I can't say whether or not I'll ever buy this again, as there are other pilsners that pack a little more punch flavour-wise, but those looking for a nice, smooth refreshing summer beer that goes down easy but still tastes like beer, definitely give it a shot.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz Pint Can poured into a .5l mug...

A - Light straw like color, lovely activity racing up to the top. Nice 1 inch head even after a softer pour.

S - Very floral and grassy, some acidity in the nose to dry up the brew

T - Very refreshing, the hop kick is a bit more subdued than some other Czech's allowing the soft yet surprisingly complex to be featured

M - Very smooth, the sweetness from the hops does not stick to the mouth and the beer finishes very clean.

O - Great example of a classic style, one that I never have a problem going back too

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: The beer pours a golden-yellow color with a huge white head
Smell: Malts, grain, grass and light flowery hops.
Taste: Big malts, hay, with a hoppy, bitter and dry finish.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation, thin bodied
Overall: Easy to drink, more malty than average

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Photo of G2Brew
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a sense that I was picking at nits, real or imagined, when I was trying to determine the differences between Summit's "Bohemian Style Pilsner" and the Czechvar and Pilsner Urquel I had sampled previously.

The only way to really know the difference is in a careful, side-by-side test. So, I poured one glass of each beer. I was in a “primitive” situation, without enough proper pilsner glasses, so I used wine glasses to keep it even. Poured at 45 degrees F. Let the tasting begin!

Visually, the three are very, very close. The Summit and the Czechvar are virtually indistinguishable, even side-by-side. The Urquel is a shade darker. All were clear enough to read a newspaper through them (until the glasses fogged up due to the excessive humidity here.) Let me say up front, the Urquel is in a class by itself. It was not only a shade darker, but also had more grain and more Saaz hops aroma. Likewise, it had not just more, but a mellower flavor, even though it has a bit more hop bite. Pilsner Urquel is an amazing beer. Carbonation among the three was nearly identical, with the Summit having almost imperceptibly more – evidenced only by the higher volume of bubbles ten minutes after the pour.

So, the competition really came down to a race for third, between the Summit and the Czechvar.

The summit has a bit more lacing, and better foam than either of the Czech brews. Understand that none of them has a lot of foam. But the Summit’s head retention was impressive.

The aroma (where the Urquel first ran away from the group) was very close between the Summit and the Czechvar. The Czechvar takes this one, but just barely. The Czechvar has more Saaz, and I admit, I’m a sucker for Saaz. The intensity of the grain aroma is about equal, but slightly different. The Czechvar has a bit more of that unique, earthy, richness of the Bohemian Pilsner malt. That said, the Summit’s aroma is very pleasant, and a bit lighter, but not in a bad way. Cleaner, perhaps. Some corn aroma.

The Summit has the best mouthfeel of the three – not overwhelmingly so, but slightly less watery.

Now for the big one: taste. Again, Urquel wins hands down. The flavor is full of Bohemian pils malt, and Saaz hops. Mmmm...Saaz. Yeah, baby, this is what a Bohemian Pilsner is supposed to taste like. The only better Pilsner I’ve had is Urquel on tap in Europe.

Now, for the other two:

Summit is very nice. Some good pilsner malt, but with a touch of corn. That makes it less earthy and rich than the true Bohemian, but still very pleasant. The corn doesn’t help it, if the goal is to be true to the Bohemian style, but this is a good “drink-all-day” beer. I think it would be improved without the corn and with a touch of carapils (which I suspect is what makes the Urquel darker and tastier) and definitely would be better with a bit more hops, especially late-boil and dry hops for flavor and aroma.

Czechvar has a bit more character in the flavor than Summit, and it’s a tad richer, even though it’s not darker. The hops taste is almost on par with the Urquel. It’s not as rich as the Urquel, but better than the Summit.

Of the three, my order of preference is 1) Pilsner Urquel, 2) Czechvar, and 3) Summit “Bohemian Style” Pilsner. The Summit and Czechvar are so close that it comes down to a matter of preferences. If you want a little more of the Bohemian malt flavor and Saaz hops, then go with the Czechvar. Taste wise, I think the Czechvar wins, but if appearance is more important to you, go with the Summit. If you want a cleaner tasting lawn mower beer, the Summit is great cold.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.62/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours deep gold with a small head that quickly fades to nothing.
Nose shows uber grassy/skunky hops at first. After this fades, loads of bready malt becomes apparent... craploads.
Similar flavours: bready, grainy malt, honey, and grassy, spicy hops.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of DavidST
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been curious to try the Czech 'Budweiser' so I finally got a bottle, its better than the American Budweiser but not that great.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pilsener glass, best before 10.04.11 date.

This pours a light golden color very clear with a large foamy white head, when it goes away there is no lacing, you do get a constant stream of bubbles from the beer. The smell is crisp and nice, a little floral hops, sweet bread malt and grassy undertones. The mouth feel is as expected light and crisp with tingly carbonation. The taste is good, it has some malty notes up front with a little bitterness on the way down, although its also a little watery for my taste. Overall a decent beer very crisp and refreshing so its probably go for a hot summer day, but its too watery for my tastes. (There are several other beers I prefer over this in this style).

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Photo of
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pale golden yellow with a small white head that quickly dissapears without a trace. Very fine bubbles.

Smell - nice subdued floral hops aroma with sweet bready malt.

Mouthfeel - light bodied, moderately carbonated and crisp.

Taste - Sweet pilsner malt, a touch of bitterness, and herbal noble hops. A touch on the wwtery side, but good.

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Photo of kilustration
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First off, much better than the "king of beers" - its no contest. Nice looking beer poured from a bottle into a glass. Quick foam that disappears rather quickly, but leaves a nice lace. Smell is crisp. Taste has a hint of hops sweetness. Feels much better than average in the mouth and goes down nice and easy. Overall a disappointment - this is I feel this beer is over-hyped. Would gladly have again if given the chance. Fact is there a many better beers offered from the region.

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Photo of Brenden
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know where this came from, but I've got one and I'm drinking it...

A steady cascade in this bright gold brew brings up a foamy white head that doesn't retain itself exceptionally well but doesn't face terribly quickly either. The lacing left behind in thin patches is in decent quantity.
The aroma gives up grassy undertones above pale malts and evident grains with a fairly decent hops presence more on the floral side with an herbal character to it and just a slight spicy bite.
Crisp, light, crackery malts make up the backbone of the flavor, and the balancing hops are certainly adequate for a Czech pils. Spiciness isn't lost and there's a bit of a citrus zest as well. While fairly dry, malts offer a light touch of sweetness lingering through along with it.
This beer is as crisp as it ought to be, light but certainly with more body and depth than it's AAL counterpart and its like. My only concern is that it the carbonation leads a bit too much toward effervescence.
I have to go with the consensus; this really is a nice pilsener.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the green bottle dated 03.14.12. Sampled on June 9, 2011. Yes it is too bad it came in a green botle because that inevitable skunkiness reared its ugly head (or ugly nostril) as soon as I popped the foil covered cap. The pour was straw yellow with no head at all and dead carbonation. It was difficult to catch anything special in the aroma. Maybe a little hoppy thing. The body was thin. There were bits of malts and hops in the taste but my particular bottle was skunked to the max. So it was hard to give it a fair rating.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had to try it, I had heard about the Czech Budweiser and when I came across this I picked one up. Even though I was curious I figured I knew what the outcome would be. It's a generic looking Pilsner with a yellow body, white head, not much lacing if any really. The smell is a of some malts, grains, grass and other earthy aromas. The taste followed through with some of the aromas but also has a decent hop bitterness in the aftertaste. All in all, still nothing to rave about.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the beers I've had a bunch of people tell me about when they find out I like beer. ''Have you ever tasted Czechvar at the SAQ?''

Last time I've tried it must be at least 3 years ago. I think it was good. Let's see. 500ml bottle into SA perfect glass.

A- Perfect clear gold. Not as much head as expected. Might be my fault (glass or pour).

S- Got a nice whiff of floral hops but some skunk and corn alcohol covered it up before I could really understand it. Some drywall. Now seems just a good couple notches better than AB's Budweiser.Once I tasted, the hop aromas are a lot clearer to me.

T- Ah this is much cleaner. Very little to offend in here. Slight caramel malt and very clean noble hop flavour. Quite light but not watery. Bit of a lemony character to the hops which is nice. Very enjoyable bitterness which lingers in the aftertaste. Actually, I seem to be detecting more and more citrus characteras I drink. A littlegrapefruit coming out now. Very nice.

M- Medium to high, crsip carbonation offering a very smooth foam. Really not as dry as expected. Drier would be better I think.

O- A generally smooth yet refreshing beer. A part from a tiny bit of corn flavor (or whatever that American adjunct lager taste is) this tastes great. A quality beer catering to the wide public.
This has got to be good canned, hopefully eliminating all skunking issues.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at the Cloverleaf tavern. This one's got a best by date of 1-18-12 and was served in a small, chilled tumbler.

Budvar/Czechvar pours an absolute pristine goldenrod, it's like looking through yellow tinted glass. There's about a finger of clean white foam topping the beer. It manages to stick around for a minute or two, but doesn't leave any lacing behind. The nose is subpar at best. It basically smells like sulfer and skunked beer. I think there's a faint bit of floral hoppiness in there as well, but it's so far in the background that it's barely perceptible. The flavor is a bit more polished, as sulfer and skunk sink back into minor supporting roles. There's a solid bready malt presence and herbal noble hop notes as well. The body is appropriately light and spry, and the carbonation is subtly bubbly. I'm still not a big fan of pilseners in general, and especially ones produced on a macro scale, but this is one of the more tolerable ones I've tried

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Photo of samyoung
2.99/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a few bottles (2 for $3, labeled Czechvar, thanks for the alias InBev) on my first visit to Food Town in Kensington, Brooklyn. I have exactly exactly 10 months to drink this bottle as the best before date is marked 01.17.2012.

A - Looks like a lager; perhaps slightly deeper gold complexion.
S - Spicy with hints of green grass and lemon.
T - Sustained spiciness with a nice bitter undertone throughout; though marked as a lager it has pilsner qualities.
M - Lacking; almost instantaneously drops from the palette.
O - Drinkable, smooth and flavorful this is a great summer starter.

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Photo of steveh
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single with groceries, haven't tried it in a while.

.5 L green bottle.

Best before 10.04.2011 on the label -- so, is this the European writing of dates, or US for our market? Good till October, or should I have had this a couple weeks ago?

A -- Clear, deep gold with a long-lasting white head.

S -- Mild spicy hops and bready malts eeking through. Note that before warming, light skunk was present, but soon faded.

T -- Spicy hops right up front, definite Saaz character in the sharpness, followed by mild bready malts that quickly give way to a spicy bitterness. Clearly, the hops are dominant, but the malt makes a good back bone in balance.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, vaguely syrupy, with a light-medium body.

O -- Overall a very good drinker. I think I actually like the hop balance better in the Budvar than in Urquell these days. The Budvar allows a good flavor of malts through to the palate.

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Photo of cervezango
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

amber gold color, the carb goes away

smells a little apply , has a very distinctive smell cant tell exactly what it is
a little yeasty smells like tll be bitter and ethanol, smells like the outdoors. wood-like.

bready hops yeast, nice bite to it. i love the spiciness , best beer Ive had in a while.

great after taste leaves a nice coating on your tounge

best pilsner Ive had, if you see it get it, id have 2 or 3 more right now.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 500ml green glass bottle with a BB of Nov 2011. Sealed with a foil cap.

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. A clear golden colour with plentiful fine carbonation. Not hazy, but particles of sediment are visible within the liquid. Forms a thick white head that lasts for a couple of minutes before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with just the faintest hint of grassy hops - not much going on.

Tastes of clean light malt with very mild bitterness. Little depth to the flavour, and no hoppy notes to mention. Mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp tingling from the carbonation. Slightly astringent on the palate. Not much aftertaste.

A decent, well rounded lager. The flavour is uncomplicated but refreshing, and the mouthfeel is good. Not the greatest beer in the world, but one that I'm happy to drink repeatedly.

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Budweiser Budvar from Budějovický Budvar, n.p.
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 1,564 ratings
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