Holsten Premium
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

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German Pilsner
Ranked #772
Ranked #47,602
2.93 | pDev: 18.77%
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Holsten PremiumHolsten Premium
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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 159 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the can, it pours a lovely golden color with a modest head that rapidly shrinks to a small size but does continue to replenish. Lacing. In the nose, bready malt with a slight hint of hops. In the mouth, malt with a slight bit of bitter.

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Photo of FriedichVonostrowo
1.87/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2


I won't be buying this again and it reiterates why I haven't bought any of this for the past ~20 years!! Desperately needs a malt and hops boost and perhaps better brewing period!! It reminds me a lot of Danish Pilsners.

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Photo of biegaman
2.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Holsten Premium has that 'premium' look alright: the bright, highly refined golden complexion, sparkling carbonation and bountiful, bleached white head. I swear I've seen this beer before on a poster or in a TV commercial, alongside a pretty model or group of fun-loving 20-something's out on the town. You'll recognize it too...

Because lagers like this one are all-too-familiar. They're a dime a dozen (or, in this market, give or take $2 a can). The bouquet - what little there is of one - has the entirely insipid smell of watered-down, low-quality malt. For the most part, the aroma lacks that notorious stain of HFCS, though corn is certainly a component in this one.

The German Purity Law restricts what ingredients can and cannot be used, but it says nothing about the quality of those ingredients. If the brewery is to be believed (and it should), this recipe uses no corn, rice, non-malted grains, sugar, chemicals or preservatives. Still, it tastes curiously - undetectably - like those that do.

Hey, that's what poor quality grain gets you: semblances to canned corn, stale bread and starchy white rice. A few more hops could have helped flush away some of all that from the aftertaste but, as is customary for large producers, Holsten aired on the side of being sweet, not bitter. It's obvious where they cut costs.

What the world considers 'beer' was invented in and around present day Germany. To this day German lagers typically set themselves apart for their remarkable finesse, the way they blend intricate flavours and refined drinkability. Holsten Premium, however, is no such beer. It has no substance. It's just another unremarkable, boiler plate brand.

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Photo of Hodgson
4.38/5  rDev +49.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is expiry-dated Oct '16, thus brewed just a couple of months ago. It's very good, malty and lightly sweet with a steely Hallertau (or that type) hop character.

This beer must, must, must be drunk very fresh.

Sitting in the can even at 4 months let alone 6 delivers much less of the authentic character.

It's a classic but few I believe will get it as good as I did (outside Germany). Mine was sourced at LCBO.

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Photo of importedfromdet
2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Imported from a can bought in Canada.

Poured into a pint glass, very little foam head at all. Lots of carbonation bubbles. A clear liquid with yellow tint.

Smell gives the nose a smell of apple with lots of malt.

Tastes of malt, barley. Call me crazy but it has an apple juice taste, very slight.

It is crisp, and very light.

A step above American macro lagers.

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Photo of Bunman3
2.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Mmm, well, it is what it is. It reminds me of a "Beck's Light" or some such thing. Light carbonation, faint skunk, not much in the way of flavor or mouthfeel. Overall, this is pretty bland stuff.

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Photo of souvenirs
2.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

500 ml can, $1.99 plus deposit at a BC Liquor Store.

When I was in university, one of my friends dated a German guy, studied German, and drank mainly German beer. I think this was the beer she drank the most. I had it a few times back then, but I haven't had it since.

A: Straw yellow, clear, some carbonation.

S: Lightly grassy, a bit metallic.

T: I was expecting a fairly generic lager taste. While this isn't awful, that generic lager taste would be an improvement. It's drinkable, but I'd never get it again. It's kind of watery, and there's something about it that reminds me a little of apple juice.

F: A bit watery, but the carbonation gives it a pleasant crispness at least.

O: I suppose there's a reason it was only $1.99.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
2.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml can from LCBO poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear golden colour. 2 fingers of head, but dissapears quickly. Some carbonation appears to be evident based on the visible carbonation bubbles in the pint glass.

Smell - Light grassy notes but malts are a bit stronger here. There is also a funky metallic smell, that isn't strong but is there. Otherwise good smelling beer.

Taste - Clean and crisp, some vague hints of spicy flavors. Malty backbone as the bready and yeasty tastes move forward on the tongue. Nothing bad here, but nothing terrible inspiring.

Mouthfeel - decent mouthfeel, moderately rich in feel, but the thing that surprised me was the lack of carbonation in my mouth, especially considering much of its is visible. Was expecting more here honestly.

Overall - A decent German brew and used to be one of my favorites before I started to try many of the others in the style. Probably won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Trying a can of Holsten. The beer pours to a deep clear golden color with a thin head that is essentially dissapates. The smell is typical of a pilsner, light with Saaz type hops. Tthe taste follows most Euro pilsners with a light bitterness and slight malt. Although the carbonation is spot on, the mouthfeel is slightly watery and a little lacking even for a pilsener. Good lawnmower beer but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It pours a pale golden lager colour with a nice bubbly head that quickly settles down. Nothing drastic, but still alright.

The aroma is dominated by grassy hops and faint sweet maltiness.

The taste is mostly grassy hops with a hint of sweet grain. Bitterness is quite strong in the end, and not well balanced with the malty flavours that were developing. I finished with a kind of buttery flavour.

Overall, not a bad lager, but a bit watery for my tastes. It doesn't really nail all of its flavours and suffers as a result.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Can

Appearance – Clear light yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, corn, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste bread/dough mixed with light floral hops and some corn. There is also a bit of a spiciness to the beer on the finish.

Overall – I can't believe how many of these plain/basic euro beers there are available in my area. They all taste so similar it's a wonder why we need such a variety of them. At least this one was slightly above average taste wise. I have no real reason to purchase it again however.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.13/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can picked up at the LCBO. Pours a bright golden yellow, topped with about 1.5 fingers of creamy, off-white head that lasts a few minutes before fading. A patchy cap and collar remain behind, with a bit of lacing on the sides. Pretty pedestrian-looking... and pedestrian-smelling, for that matter. Light, grainy malts and some faint grassy hops are the only aromas offered up by this pint.

Fortunately the taste is a bit more interesting. Grainy, pale malts provide most of the backbone, with some denser, bready malt flavours further into the sip. Decent finish that blends this crackery-bread malt flavour with a brush of noble hops invoking some dryness; it lingers on the palate briefly after swallowing. Crisp mouthfeel, with appropriate carbonation for the style and a light body. Surprisingly refreshing, and as drinkable as any other pilsener.

I have had a few beers (the fest- and maibock) from this brewery and they were pretty forgettable. This one falls into the same category - it's a generic German pilsener with no serious flaws (unless you consider a weak hop profile a serious flaw), and no particularly admirable qualities of note. Worth a try for the tick, but not something I'm likely to get again.

[Updated Feb. 21 2014]

I picked up another can, this time comparing it side-by-side with a few other German pilsners (Beck's, Warsteiner and Stiegl Pils). This is the cheapest of those four lagers by a significant margin, and despite the price point I'd have to say it's not half bad (and certainly no worse than Beck's). This can be recognized as a legitimate, actual pilsener, though it does have some of that 'apple juice concentrate' flavour I find in a lot of cheap lagers. Overall - you could do worse than Holsten Premium, especially at $2.15 a can, but there are still tastier German imports selling at similar prices.

Final Grade: 3.13, a C+.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pour is clear golden with some small bubbles. The tall white head is a bit soapy and quickly sinks into only little lace.

S: Grainy semi-sweet malt and some bitter hops in the back. Kind of buttery and skunky.

T: Sweet malt, a bit grainy and bready. The bitter hops are a bit too anonymous. Again the skunky buttery tone is present.

M: Lovely long bitter aftertaste. Body is smooth and medium, while the carbonation is mild.

O: Not the best German Pilsener I've had this summer, but quite drinkable anyway.

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Photo of aletale
2.48/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 500 mL can into a lager pint glass...

I was hesitant to try any other Holsten products after being quite unimpressed with their Festbock, but many months later I decided to give something else of theirs a go. I figured their pils would be a safer bet. Was I safe? Yes and no.

Pours a golden straw colour, with a small white foamy head which dissipates to a small ring quickly. Little to no lacing. Medium carbonation.

Nose is typical pils notes. The usual floral hops are present, but not as present as I would've expected. Grainy, earthy malts are also noted.

The taste is..intriguing. While the floral hop flavour you'd expect from this style are present, it takes a back seat to soft, bready malts on the front with a nice yeasty/carbonation finish. Medium mouthfeel.

I've never quite had a German pils like this one. Not great, not terrible.

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Photo of Brabander
3.5/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit more than an average score for a beer which is a bit better than average.

Bought this beer five months ago in Germany at a supermarket. I like tro try the German beers. This beer is form the north of Germany and to start with this i can say it is not a bad beer. The biggest problem however for me is to describe the beer. Like all German pilseners it's a beer like many other in it's field.

Good and nice white head and little to no carbonation. A bit dry taste.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.11/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml can. I always see these being carted out of liquor stores by the armload by older European gentlemanly types.

This beer pours a clear pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of thin puffy, foamy eggshell white head, which leaves some sticky drooping Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it slowly subsides.

It smells of grainy pale malt, somewhat metallic in its bearing, and leafy, grassy, and weedy hops - the dead but not-yet-rotting vegetation kind of weediness, in case you were wondering. The taste is sweet bready, kind of stale mixed cereal grain, a hint of old lemon rind, and soapy, dead flower hops.

The carbonation is on the low and generally soft side of things, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth. It finishes still pretty sweet, the bready, wan cereal malt not swayed overly so by the mild, ineffectual hops, and standard alcohol dryness.

While I can see the appeal of these shiny (and relatively inexpensive) cans on the shelves of yer better (and less so) booze merchants, the contents are mostly bland and middling, if still warm and comforting at the same rate. I'll have to ask the next swarthy Euro fellow I see buying this about that.

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Photo of A380
3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow, with little head. Smells Decent, Honestly I cant really pick any smells out.. and i tasted aluminum. Its not terrible and its definitely not as good as the Holsten Pilsener in Germany but you know what its definitely not the worst out there. Im not sure how i feel about the carbonation.. it doesnt seem like its too overpowering but im burping like crazy.. I find it tastes slightly spicy and a little bitter. lots of herbs and kinda earthy. the aftertaste is not bad at all except for the aluminum - btw this was poured into a glass... Overall its an ok beer, pretty cheap compared to other imports and its not the worst so why not give it a go? Maybe pair it up with some cheese on toast? Cheese and toast with lots of butter.. you cant go wrong!

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Photo of seand
2.95/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear straw amber with a small amount of foamy white head. Not too much retains, leaving little lacing.

S: Lightly grainy and sweet with a touch of skunkiness.

T: Very light; minor grainy sweetness, finishing just a touch on the dry side.

M: Medium carbonation, light body.

D: Light body, little flavor, so it's pretty easy to drink, though a little less clear why you'd want to.

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Photo of scott451
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml can into a glass mug. Best before 11, 2010. Straw coloured with moderate carbonation. Two finger head does not stick around long. Minor to no lacing. Metallic and soap in the smell and taste. Light refreshing mouthfeel. Drinkable. This is my regular beer. Not perfect but no major flaws. A good standby.

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Photo of mooseisloose
2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smells like a pilsner, light and zesty like a sweet tart. Pours to a deep golden color with a thin head that is there then gone. Taste is also very light and european-like with a light bitterness and twinge of light malt. Although the carbonation is spot on, the mouthfeel is slightly watery and a little lacking even for a pilsener. Good lawnmower beer but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of soju6
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer is a golden yellow with a full head. Aroma had a tinge of hops. Taste was a bit bitter. It had a decent carbonation with a slightly bitter after taste. Beer is good for maybe 1-2.

Had this beer at a pub in Kiel, Germany. Typical North german beer.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
1.16/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

These are very dark times for me indeed, as I find myself quickly running out of beers at the LCBO (the government monopoly that sells beer in Ontario) to try. And so it is that I find myself picking over the canned eurolager section. God help me.

Pours a pale urine color with a white head that dies down leaving the whole thing completely lackluster.

The aroma is grainy, corn, light noble hops.

The taste is weak and watery, grainy, corny, and downright soapy. Metallic bitterness lingers in the finish.

Very thin, light mouthfeel -- could do with a tad more carbonation.

This is so not a good beer. It's amazing how many beers tack the word "premium" on to the name when what they really mean is fucking horrible.

Incidentally, the can has the following url printed on it: www.holsten.ca Which doesn't exist. Near as I can google, it never did.

Yeah. I'm done here.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.68/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into pint glass nov8 2009

A clear golden yellow with heavy carbonation and a decent two finger head that has decent retention but left no lace

S some bread mixed up with some floral hops and grass

T not far off the smell nothing great but nothing to be ashamed of either

M light but crisp with a nice mild bite to it

D no problems overall and worth trying I just wish it was a little warmer outside

better then our big name beers with no doubt and well worth it for the price.

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Photo of berley31
2.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured with a small, white head that very quickly dissipated to a thin film floating on top of the beer. Body is bright yellow and completely clear.

S: Meh. Cooked corn and some skunkiness. Gross.

T: Not much better. I'm getting the cooked corn again... and not much else.

M: Light-bodied with a thin texture, and average carbonation.

D: Oh, I wasted a beer choice on this? Why did I listen to my brother on this one? An insult to German beers, really.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
2.91/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The head forms fast and high, and some of it sticks around for several minutes. A fairly average golden/amber beer.

The smell doesn't turn me off, but there's nothing much to note about it either.

The taste isn't too bad. It's fairly light (but mellow/smooth) and crisp. Kind of a "draft beer" aftertaste. It's not my favourite in this genre/area, but it's def. not the worst either.

It feels just fine. Nothing makes me go "wow". Different mouthfuls waver around too little or just enough carbonation.

It's more drinkable than I thought it would be after the first sip or two. I don't see me going back to it, but I wouldn't have anything against having a few of these in a row.

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Holsten Premium from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 159 ratings