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

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83 Reviews
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Holsten PremiumHolsten Premium

Brewed by:
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 02-11-2002

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 152
Photo of biboergosum
3.11/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 1,194 characters

Photo of Jason
2.09/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

500 mL can purchased from the Niagara Falls LCBO.

Minimal white lacing, some stickage here and there. Pale golden yellow color, shiny clarity. Horse feed aroma, faint but its there. Crisp and light bodied. Bitter and a little astringent. Rough grain from start to finish, bitter hopping does not help at all. Finishes bone dry.

German Purity Law What? This beer gives German beer a bad rap, not recommended.

 409 characters

Photo of woodychandler
2.22/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

CAN you dig it? I am on a CAN mission. Scope them reviews, should ye doubt.

I got a nice, rocky, finger's worth of bone-white head off of my pour. The color was a light golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose was sharp with alcohol. 5.0% and it was that sharp?!? Wow! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, but I got a really unusual taste on the tongue, like must, or some other flavor denoting age. The bottom of the CAN seemed to indicate freshness until January 2009. Oof. Finish was slightly sweet, but with a flavor that I simply cannot quantify. Not good.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.78/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,681 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.69/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 514 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.15/5  rDev +6.8%
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 wordemupg
3.68/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of bark
2.03/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The colour is pale straw yellow; the large airy head sinks quickly down to a white lid with some lacing.

The smell is quite… unexciting: Some sour malt and chemical bitterness with a touch of chalk and wet cardboard. Below the average pale euro lager.

The taste is sweeter than expected with a malty, unusual note of milk chocolate, earth and metal. The aftertaste got some anonymous artificial bitterness and mineral notes.

The carbonation is quite low with small bubbles. It would have been fine for an ale but not for a lager.

On the whole an dull and unbalanced experience, I wonder what’s so “Premium” about it? And why am I wasting my time drinking this crap?

 683 characters

Photo of Viggo
2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear yellow/slightly golden, thin white head forms and disappears, leaves some big bubbles and a little lace spotting. Smell is sweet, malty, some iron, floral and citrus, alcohol, corn. Taste is the same, almost a slight malty roastiness, lots of corn, citrus, floral, iron, some alcohol, pretty average. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Kind of smooth, and the weird flavours give it an edge.

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Photo of drpimento
2.33/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

And to think I really used to like this beer... Got this can at the nearby Supermercado Carrefour here in Recoleta, Buenos Aires a few days ago. Pourd a white head, no lace. Pale gold color. Light pils aroma with a hint of hops. Flavor's about the same. Bitterness stands out. But the body's fairly thin. At least it's an all malt beer. Finish is ok, but forgettable. Just not a lot here.

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Photo of Suds
3.42/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on-tap during a recent trip to Europe. It pours a pale, yellowish-gold color, with nice clarity but a disappointingly thin head. The aroma is a mix of grain and pleasant hops. A bit of malt comes forth in the taste, but all of the qualities are a bit restrained. Medium to light in body and pretty refreshing, this brew is more or less standard fare. Worth a try, but I wouldn't seek it out.

 407 characters

Photo of canucklehead
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is completely unspecial. It is a very average Euro-lager
that underachieves in all areas. You can finish the can but it escapes my memory what this beer really is all about two minutes after the last drop. Avoid but accept if offered for free.

 254 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.08/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500-mL can, purchased in Bamberg, Germany, at a pizza shop 07-26-2009. Holsten Pilsener Premium. 05.2010 stamped on bottom of the can.

This pilsner poured a clear, bright gold color with tall, white foam that settled and left some lacing on the glass. The smell was rather light: some light bready malt with very, very low hop aroma. The taste was very light bready malt with very low hop bitterness, though with some aromatic hop flavors in the finish. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with light body and modest carbonation feel. The bready malt gave way to some hoppiness in the finish. This was an OK beer to finish the night with some pizza, but I won't go out of my way for another one.

 692 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear medium golden color, with a small white head, lots of fine lacing, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Rather prominent noble hops, with lots of fine lacing, and slight slow-rising carbonation.

Taste: Prominent hops from start to finish. Beneath this there is a solid pale malt backbone, but the hops are dominant.

Mouth feel: Smooth and fairly full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Pleasant, competently-made example.

Presentation: Packaged in a half-liter brown PET plastic bottle with a twist-off cap, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Thanks to Max for hand-carrying this back from Dresden.

 614 characters

Photo of beerguy101
2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Medium gold color, small white head. Aroma is grainy and sweet. Light and refreshing. Crisp taste. Slightly malty. Slightly hoppy. Slight off taste? a little vegitative and stinky. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

 258 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
2.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Haven't I been to the bottom of this glass before? Nope, no recollection of ever tasting a Holsten premium lager up to this point.
But it seems so familiar.... That's because this is a very plain beer.
The nose is somewhat tinny, but that might be a result of the 500mL can I poured it out of. There is the faintest hint of a sweet grainy aroma upon further inspection, and the unimpressive head made a hasty disappearing act. The taste is light with the slightest touch of hops, the colour a light straw, but this happens to be a very smooth beer, and it goes down very well. I'd drink it again if I reached for it accidently, but would pay closer attention to what I was doing at the beer store after that.

 710 characters

Photo of ADR
2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear medium gold color, average to large-bubbled white head of 1/2 an inch to start and average duration. Decent lace, some adhesion of clumps of foam. Lightly aromatic, light hop crispness, a bit of musk. Mouthfeel is light, carbonation average to maybe a touch high. Malt is bready with a hint of raw grain. Hops aren't as apparent in the back flavor as the aroma promises, but a mild sulpherous quality starts to set in. Relatively clean finish, slightly gassy. Seems to be around average as a Pils, could use more prickly bite for my tastes.

 546 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.13/5  rDev +6.1%
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 HardTarget
3.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sad, as this brewery seems to make several different Pils. This seemed the closest match to the 4.8% abv listed on the brown plastic bottle from Germany (hand carried back)

Aroma: A nice spicy Saaz hop aroma with a mild mineral note.

Appearance: Very clear golden glass with a strong collar and wisps of head.

Flavor: Firm, almost metallic hop note and some skunk. Very one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, firm fizzy carbonation.

Overall Impression: Just didn’t care for this one. A good pilsner, but a touch harsh; Just not my cup of tea.

Thanks to Pegasus for sharing.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pale yellow, reminiscent of American Macros. Head is small, fades quickly to almost nothing.

Smell: Stale grassy malt, old yeast. Below average.

Taste: Watered down euro lager, with adjunct and off flavors abounding. Not good at all.

Mouthfeel.: OK< but leaves a metallic flavored coating in your mouth on the way down.

Drinkability: Pass on this, there are many other domestic beers that are cheaper and better than htis mess.

 455 characters

Photo of TerryW
2.67/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pretty unremarkable stuff. The big deal proclaimed on the label was the new plastic bottle.

So, pours up clear yellow with a small short-lived head. Nose is full of hops. Not much by way of flavour, slightly bitter hop finish.

A simple unremarkable average beer. Yawn.

 274 characters

Photo of Absumaster
3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A golden, clear, beer with a creamy head that dies down after some minutes.

Smell is grainy and has a light hoppiness.

A light grainy pilsner, with a hint of lagermalt that has some husk and a muted lager yeastiness. A light hint of sulfur and some vanilla. Drinkability is OK, but this also comes from it's lightness. A good beer for pubbing, less for tasting.

 365 characters

Photo of Globetrotter
2.78/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a good beer for the masses. Nothing spectacular here, but certainly drinkable at a higher quality level than the Buds and Millers of this world. It comes out pale yellow, with a flat white head that disappears quickly, leaving little trace or lace. The smell is bland - perhaps a bit of malt there, but not much of anything. The hops are detectable in the finish, but only if you are really looking for them. Definitely an average brew by today's standards - it tasted so good fifteen years ago because we didn't yet know how much better beer could be.

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Photo of soju6
3/5  rDev +1.7%
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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Holsten Premium from Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
2.95 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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